Last week the St. Louis Blues and the Toronto Raptors won titles. They have reached the summit. As tough as it was to win, the leadership groups of each organization need to ask a very basic question. What next? The expectation levels from media, fans, and the organization have changed and they need recognize that.
Bill Walsh, legendary San Francisco Forty-Niners Head Coach was once asked you have a bunch of players that have just won the Super Bowl, must be nice. He replied” it’s a problem. We won the Super Bowl. The connection, focus and vision of this group has been changed. We have to start over with a new group”.
Looking at today’s teams, love them or dislike them the Patriots, Red Sox, Yankees and the Warriors have all had tremendous success. How do you go on after winning? What’s the plan? The Patriots are probably the best example. Coach Bill has the ability to remove the emotion from the decision. He can see that players’ physical skills are reaching an end, and he releases them and brings in someone else. Somehow, he has connected with the players and they know that the stay with the Patriots will be a short one and probably will be highly successful. He does not seem to be distracted by the shininess of winning. That is very hard to do, and is what makes him and the Patriots successful.
There is the assumption that after you lose, the brain trust of the organizations get together to map out a plan for the next season. It is a tough and challenging task. However, how many have tough about after you win. The average sports fans thinks they make a couple tweaks here and there and they are good to go. I believe it is harder. As Walsh said, I have Super Bowl champions, just like the Blues and the Raptors have champions. A physical challenge can be seen, but how do you get inside of someone’s mind and challenge them. After all they are Champions!
I believe it all goes back to draft day. Organizations really need to do there homework. The simple part is identifying talent. Hard part is identifying character. A friend of mind once told me once” never fall in love with talent”. Players who know they are talented for the most part feel entitled. Players with character have that ability to park past success and focus on the now. They know how to compete and they know how to challenge others. Some call it Leadership, I still call it character. The Core values of the player need to mirror the Core Values of the organization. With many organizations that have players that are talented, the Core Values did not align. They may have wanted the same outcome but differed on how to get there. Both have a different focus and a different way on how to get there.
To be successful that cannot happen, but does !
Until next time!