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Evolution: Recruit, Develop, Improve

Leadership Lessons From the Lions

So much has been said about the Detroit Lions’ historic playoff run this season. It was truly remarkable. We believe there are some unique lessons for leaders inherent in their grit and culture. It’s not the same old, usual leadership stuff either! Read on to learn what inspired us the most.

“Young players are going to make mistakes.”
– Sheilia Ford

Well, of course they do. We all know that. However, Sheilia shared this in the context of embracing “mistake making” as a part of their culture. Now, that is a transformative approach!

How could our organizations become better by embracing failures as a critical part of the journey to success? What if we encouraged our new hires and young professionals to take calculated risks and TRY? What new ideas and breakthroughs would happen – and happen faster – if we celebrated that? Mom said, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Mom was right.

“Every player just wants to know you can help them, right? …as long as they feel that, they’re all in.”
– Dan Campbell

Your team cares deeply about improving their game. Your team wants to win – personally and professionally. They want to play on a team where they know their leader is right there alongside them, cheering them on and supporting them to higher levels of success.

Do you communicate that to them? Do they know how much you care? Do they understand what you are willing and able to do in order to help them and the rest of the team succeed?

Don’t take this for granted; it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks and neglect to remind your team that you’re there for them and want to help them, each and every day. Today might be the day to let them know that.

“Superstars aren’t the key to success. It’s TEAM.”
– Dan Campbell

When interviewing and making hiring decisions, are you focused on hiring the “first round draft pick”? Are you looking for the ideal candidate, the one that ticks all the boxes, when your focus should be on the coachable candidate that rounds out the team?

Superstars are great. They’re fun to watch and can have immediate impact, but long-term success comes from building great teams.

When interviewing, challenge yourself to give thoughtful consideration to candidates who bring enough of the right stuff to do the job but can also be developed by your team. Failing to pick up those third and fourth round draft picks could prove to be colossal mistakes in your long-term success. (Think the San Francisco 49ers without Brock Purdy!) Give them a shot.

These are just a few of the unique lessons we learned from the home team. We love their grit and determination, and we hope you do too. It’s what we bring to our work every day.

Please let us know if we can help as you build your playoff team.

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