The Culture of Leadership
September, 30, 2010
This paper is a look at some of the leadership lessons I have learned from researching Tony Dungy. Included in the text is some information about Tony’s life, leadership traits, and how he went on to successfully impact many lives of others through his accomplishments as an NFL Coach and family man. I have taken the information I learned about Tony and have included some examples of how I have applied my leadership skills to my life situations. This paper focuses on three main areas in the paper, and from there added my real life experiences, followed by a conclusion.
Leadership Lessons: Tony Dungy
Tony’s life and NFL Career
Tony Dungy grew up in Jackson, Michigan. He got married and had five children – one of which tragically committed suicide in 2005. Tony was devastated, but stayed strong and worked through the rough period with his family. Tony also was a huge supporter of many charities. Tony attended college at the University of Minnesota, which started his career in football. From college, Tony went on to play for the Steelers and 49’ers, before returning to Minnesota to begin his coaching career in 1980. Tony went on to hold various coaching positions with other teams such as the Steelers, the buccaneers, and then in 2002, he became head coach of the Colts. By 2007, Tony took his team to the Superbowl and became the first African American coach to win the Superbowl. In 2009, Tony retired after a thirty one year career in the NFL. Tony wrote a best selling book called “Quiet Strength” and it became a best seller. He shared his philosophies about football and life in the book. There are many things about Tony’s leadership style that I can learn from as well. There are three main lessons I have learned from researching Tony Dungy, and they are: 1) Give credit to those that you are leading
2) When times get rough, stay strong
3) Treat others the way you would like to be treated
Give credit where credit is due
I have always believed that recognition for a job well done can be one of the most powerful things you can do for a person. Many people value a simple “thank you” from the right person way more than recognition in the form of money. It seems there is a factor of respect that goes along with it, like when your Dad says he is proud of you for getting a good grade, or the first time you got a raise at work. It just plain feels good, and when you work very hard at something, and don’t even get acknowledged, it can be sort of de-motivating. I have worked on project teams at work where a group of us spent long hours putting together plans, brainstorming, and delivering on action plans only to have the project leader take all of the credit. That project leader went on to get promoted and we all felt really betrayed that he didn’t take the time to also give us credit for the success of the project. I have led teams or worked with individuals where they were unsure of their skills and for some it was the first time they were responsible for a small project. I have always made a point to provide recognition to those individuals and give them credit for their work. I have seen this build confidence in them, and give them the nudge to take on additional tasks or projects. I also like to make sure that their administrative leader is aware of all of the good things they are doing. Nothing feels better than to see them break out of their shell and go on to further themselves in the company. I want to be that person that they remember helped them feel good about themselves and they can look back after ten years and know that someone recognized who they are and what they contribute. I had a person that did that for me early in my career, and I will never forget her or how it impacted me. Stay strong through the rough times
When something goes wrong on the job, it...