JB 1.13.14.jpgA few weeks ago, I had a chance to hear former NFL Head Coach Dick Vermeil talk about his seven common sense leadership principles. Coach Vermeil is eminently qualified to speak about leadership, as he was named Coach of the Year on four different levels: High School, Junior College, NCAA Division I, and the NFL. In addition, even though every NFL team he coached (Philadelphia, St. Louis and Kansas City) had a losing record before he arrived, he led them to the playoffs by his third season.

Here’s a video of Coach Vermeil talking to a room full of my work colleagues:

In case you don’t have the time to listen to the whole video, I’ve summarized Coach Vermeil’s seven principles that lead to career success and development:

    1. Make sure people know you care about them
      If you want to win over someone, you must first win over their hearts.
      People care about those who care about them.
      When a person feels valued, they maintain a passion to succeed over a longer period of time.
    2. Be a good example
      The most important influence in a person’s life is someone worthy of emulation.
      People gain confidence when they see and feel it in their leaders.
      There is a difference between impressing people and impacting people.
    3. Create an atmosphere that people enjoy working in
      Employee’s attitudes are directly related to the quality of the atmosphere you create for them.
      Believe in your people and they will believe in you and themselves.
      There are three ingredients for success: recognition, appreciation, praise.
    4. Define, delegate, then lead
      Define your vision and sell it with passion.
      Focus on your strengths; delegate to others based on their strengths and talents.
      People don’t always remember what you said or did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
    5. Bring emotional and physical energy to the workplace
      Energy is contagious; you can transfer it to others.
      High-energy leaders harness the collective energy of their people.
      Encourage your employees to leave behind something they are good at for something they might be able to do better.
    6. Build relationships as you implement your process, vision, and value system
      Get your people working as a team because talent alone will not get it done; solid relationships can be the difference maker.
      You cannot lead someone if they do not trust you.
      People are compelled to return to you the feelings you create in them.
    7. Establish credibility by being sincere, believable, and trustworthy
      If you have integrity, nothing else matters; if you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.
      Be supportive in tough times; great leaders are a never-ending source of inspiration.
      Never allow greed to overpower you.

Lots of great advice from a guy who won the Super Bowl.

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             This blog was originally posted on Manage By Walking Around on January 12, 2014.

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  1. Jacob Schur

    I didn’t have a chance to see Coach Vermeil speak in person but it was inspirational to see him speak even though it was on my computer screen. Number 5 resonates with me as it is particularly evident in the leadership at SAP. It is easy to get behind a leader or leaders that show excitment and passion on a day to day basis. There is a ton of emotional and physical energy that goes into a Super Bowl and the same can be said about driving SAP and the people that make it run.

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