Excellence Attracts Excellence

Last week the 2020-21 Tampa Bay Buccaneers players and coaches were awarded their Super Bowl LV rings. Shortly after that, Tom Brady took to social media and posted a picture of himself wearing his seven Super Bowl rings.

Like most lifelong Patriots fans, I had mixed emotions seeing our former quarterback getting another ring. Sure, we were all happy for him and sad that he won the big game wearing another team’s jersey.

This weekend, I talked with my 24-year-old son about that picture. He had an excellent observation about Tom Brady that I hadn’t considered. Like me, my son is a lifelong Patriots fan. I mentioned how truly unique it was to see a player like Tom Brady go to another team and win a Super Bowl in his first year.

My son simply said, “excellence attracts excellence.” He reminded me of all the great players that joined the Buccaneers shortly after Brady announce he would be signing with the team. He also reminded me of how many notable players came to the Patriots over the years for that very reason.

Great players are attracted to great leaders Click To Tweet

The truth is that great players are attracted to great leaders. This is true for football and business.

If you think about it, football is a lot like business. Winning a Super Bowl or building a world-class business takes an entire team. One quarterback or leader can’t do it alone. So it only makes sense that you will be more effective as a team if you can attract and retain the best players.

In close to 30 years of business leadership, I have seen countless examples of great leaders attracting the best talent. For example, my first boss out of the Navy was an R&D manager who had several great engineers who had followed him to several different companies.

The same thing happened to me when I started my manufacturing company. I was shocked by the number of talented people who sent me their resumes with the intent to leave their safe, corporate jobs to be part of my small company. In fact, one employee turned down a job offer to join the Ford Motor Company as a design engineer so he could be part of our team.

Excellence attracts excellence, but the opposite is true as well.

Bad leaders repel great employees Click To Tweet

It’s not that bad leaders attract bad employees; it’s more like bad leaders repel great employees. A recent Gallup poll of more than one million U.S. workers concluded that the top reason people quit their jobs was because of a bad boss. More than 75% of employees who voluntarily left their jobs did it because of their boss.

Despite what you think of Tom Brady, he’s a winner. And he keeps winning because he attracts and retains talent.

If you want to have a winning organization, you need the best players as well. You will attract those players when people know you are a great leader. People want to work for someone they know that will treat them with respect, listen to their ideas, and help them become the best version of themselves.

If you want to become a better letter, you need to keep developing your leadership skills. One way to do that is by reading books like my bestselling new leadership book All in the Same Boat: Lead Your Organization Like a Nuclear Submariner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Photo credit – Tom Brady’s Twitter Feed]

A Sense of Belonging

Can you remember a time when you felt like you really belonged?

For me, it was the day I became a submariner.

During the pinning ceremony, the gold dolphin insignia was placed on my uniform signifying I was a qualified submarine officer. That insignia told the world I belonged to an exceptional group of people qualified in underwater warfare.

It was one of my proudest moments, and it’s an important identity I have kept my whole life.

So what about you? How do you feel when you really belong?

There something powerful about that feeling. It’s in our human nature to want to belong, to be part of a tribe. The problem is that this feeling is missing for so many people. Unfortunately, COVID has even made the situation worse. Young people, especially, are feeling increasingly disconnected.

It’s in our human nature to want to belong, to be part of a tribe. Click To Tweet

While we are connected more-and-more virtually, we are becoming disconnected both physically and emotionally.

Human connection was a primary topic in my conversation with Gabriel Klingman on my recent podcast episode. Gabriel was a manager at Starbucks for nearly a decade. One of the things he observed about young people is that they had a real “longing to belong.”

He also observed that, if you could create an environment where they felt like they were part of something special, it unleashed their potential as an employee. They became dedicated to what they did because there was a feeling of belonging.

He observed that belonging drove performance, especially with younger employees.

Creating a sense of belonging is an integral part of leadership. As you build your team, you need to consider if your employees feel like they belong to something special.

Have you created an environment where it’s special to be part of your tribe? Or is it just a job?

Work has the potential to be more than just a four-letter word. It can be where people can go, have friends, and strive together towards a common goal.

Work has the potential to be more than just a four-letter word. Click To Tweet

For some people, it might be the only place where they feel like they belong. They might have a troubled home life, but when they come to work, there’s stability. I know for me, my business feels more like a family than a company.

The question is, how can you create a culture of belonging within your team?

Creating a high-performance culture and a high-performing team requires a feeling of belonging and connection.

I challenge you today to think about how you can create a tribe with a true sense of belonging. It will help your employees reach their full potential and help you become a more effective leader.

Listen in to my whole discussion with Gabriel Klingman here.

I have the watch

 

P.S. I understand many who are reading this have bosses who don’t understand the value of people and relationships. For those of you with bosses like this, I am offering a new service. For just $10, I will anonymously mail a copy of my book, “I Have the Watch: Becoming a Leader Worth Following,” to your boss with a personal note. Click here and enter the discount code BOSS at checkout.

Using Failure to Fuel Sucess

You’ve probably noticed the same thing as me.

There is success all around us and, as a society, we love to celebrate success. Think about social media. It’s really just a collection of everyone’s highlight reel sent out into cyberspace hoping to get a little positive affirmation.

We also love a good rags-to-riches success story.

Like J. K. Rowling for example.

She went from living on welfare to becoming the world’s first billionaire author.

We love stories like this because it helps us imagine that one day, if we get lucky, maybe we might become the next rags-to-riches story.

But, what about failure?

We don’t like to think or talk about our failures.

We purposely hide our outtakes and our blooper reel from the world.

We purposely hide our outtakes and our blooper reel from the world. Click To Tweet

We fear failure. It’s embarrassing and discouraging when we fail. We feel like a loser in a world where everyone else is winning.

The problem is that failure gets a bad rap. It’s actually more important than success.

Let me explain.

Consider this. Between 2004 and 2006, at the height of auto-maker Toyota’s success, it recalled more vehicles than ever before. They learned the hard way that success leads to complacency.

We need failure.

We need it to learn, grow, and to provide the fuel to propel us towards our goals.

We need failure to learn, grow, and to provide the fuel to propel us towards our goals. Click To Tweet

Even the great J. K. Rowling was rejected by 12 different publishing houses before Bloomsbury finally accepted her stories.

Think of this quote that is often attributed to Winston Churchill (although he never actually said it):

“Success is not final. Failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” 

Failure is not the problem.

Our response to failure is. It’s the courage to continue that counts.

I recently had Colonel George Milton on my podcast and we spoke specifically about failure. He took a life of failure and built an amazing career in leadership.

He is a highly decorated combat Army veteran who barely graduated from high school. The story of his early struggles and how it provided fuel for his success is powerful.

He never let failure stop him and he was eventually inducted into the United States Army Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame.

Listen in to this episode and learn how to harness the power of failure.

P.S. If you haven’t followed me on Instagram yet, you should. You’ll get a little more “behind the scenes” view of what it’s like to lead a manufacturing business.