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Accountable…

The New England Patriots don’t care that I dislike them.  However, I certainly respect one aspect of their approach that I believe we can all benefit from.

My Broncos recently beat the Patriots in an exciting, overtime game.  That game, like so many NFL games this season, included bad calls by the officials.  In spite of Tom Brady’s “losers lament”, we must stop short of blaming the ref’s for the outcome of games; or life.

Bad calls are unfair in sporting events – in life too.  As our favorite Unknown Sage reminds us we cannot fall for that convenient “if” this and “if” that trap:

If the Hamms Bear drank Schlitz, there’d be no land of sky blue waters.

Are the Patriots the most hated NFL franchise?  The most revered?  Well, my Chicago Bears had George Halas; the Green Bay Packers had Vince Lombardi; even the infamous Oakland Raiders had Al Davis.  So no – the New England Patriots are not the “most” in either category.

I’m not down on the Patriots because they regularly beat my Broncos.  I’m down on them because of the arrogance they portray towards cheating – the same cheating incidents that have occurred side-by-side with their Super Bowl years.

We see this damn the reputation; win at any cost; in the business world too, don’t we?  Well, count me in on the character side that Robert Quillen describes:

“Character” is made by what you stand for;

“Reputation” by what you fall for.

We witnessed this reputation-for-character “trade” in Denver when we hired Josh McDaniels to be our head coach in 2009.  And when Josh was caught cheating, this time his team owner was not Robert Kraft.  No, the Broncos’ team owner Pat Bowlen did not trade character for reputation.  Pat Bowlen publicly stated he made a mistake; and then made the correction – Josh was fired.  Returning to the Patriots as their Offensive Coordinator.

I have not seen such a reputation of public arrogance since the Watergate era; an apparently paranoid and power-mad US President; who won re-election in a landslide, yet lost his reputation (and ultimately the Presidency) with a break-in and a cover-up.

In spite of all this, I still have great respect for the way the Bill Belichick coaches.    Every player; every play; every day is accountable to do their job.  Offense, defense, special teams – every player; out to out-play their opponent’s players; every play; every day.  Admirable.

Famous for his hoodie; infamous for his scowl; hated for his cheating; revered for his winning; Bill Belichick is undeniably one of the all-time best NFL coaches.  And I believe a key attribute to his prolonged success has been accomplished through that emphasis on holding those around him accountable for doing their job.  Every player; every play; every day.

Imagine the level of success we could achieve in our business pursuits if every employee at our company gave his or her best every day, on every “play”.  Achievement – it can be a wonderful, feeling in our personal life, too:

My therapist told me a way to achieve peace was to finish things I started.  Today, I finished 2 bags of potato chips, a lemon pie, a fifth of Jack Daniels, and a small box of chocolate candy.  I feel better already! 

Unknown Sage

So no if’s; and’s; or buts; let’s pursue success in our personal and professional pursuits in concert with accountability.  And let’s avoid the temptation to win at any cost; to trade character for achievement (nor even for a candy bar).

GAP

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2 Comments


  1. Bob Wittig
    Dec 14, 2015

    How do you feel about losing to the Raiders ? At home no less, seems like you had their number the same way the Pats had the Broncos, but all good things come to an end. How about those Warriors though, speaking of sports teams !

    Bay Area Bob !


    • Gary
      Dec 23, 2015

      Hey Bay Area Bob – great comments! And like you, I also remember the glory days of those dreaded Raiders 🙂 Golden State too – remember that last under handed free throw shooter? Thx, GAP

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