Vince Lombardi

Topics: Green Bay Packers, Vince Lombardi, Super Bowl Pages: 5 (1933 words) Published: July 11, 2011
When people think of great leaders, they think of those who accomplish incredible feats. A football coach may not be the first to come to mind for most, but Vince Lombardi is the very first name to come to my mind when reflecting on great leaders. He was perhaps the most inspiring coach of all time, and is honored with Super Bowl trophy is his name. Vince Lombardi epitomized everything great about the game of football, he defined what it takes to win and he offered clear illustration for how a team should be lead. The great thing about Lombardi was that the values he established and the vision he created were so strong that players could hate him, but still play their hearts out for him. Lombardi empowered his players to act, and whether they liked him or not, they played their hearts out for him. Lombardi understood the importance of influence. Maxwell shows us, “the true measure of leadership is influence; nothing more, nothing less” (Maxwell, 2007). Vince Lombardi challenged the status quo, but to do so he had to have the support of team. To accomplish this, he created a compelling vision, established shared values, and encouraged the hearts of his men. Without buy in, leaders will never be followed or believed in. When Lombardi came to the Packers, he displayed the sense that he knew what to do. Leaders must be confident, without confidence, subordinates will never buy in. This directly relates to Maxwell’s law of buy in. It states, “People buy into the leader, then the vision (Maxwell, 2007). Once people buy in, victory will be theirs. Lombardi was so convincing with his plan that after his first team meeting, Bart Starr exclaimed to his wife, "I think we're going to begin to win" (Vince Lombardi, 2007). Lombardi mastered the art of making people believe in what he said. He was so confident and sure minded, his players had no choice but to listen to what he said, and follow his rules. Moreover, the more the players bought into his vision, the more success the team had. Once the team saw success, it was easy for them to trust Lombardi’s vision. Maxwell’s law of the picture is a perfect explanation for Lombardi’s vision of what was to come, and how success helped his team believe in him. The law of the picture states, “People do what people see” (Maxwell, 2007). Lombardi was never one to freely give compliments. He felt that praise given out too frequently meant people would not strive for it. Lombardi knew how to use timing to his advantage. “After Willie Wood messed up in practice and completely lost his confidence, Lombardi waited until just the right time to encourage and motivate him” (Behreandt, 2005). He waited until the moment when it would mean the most, and let Wood know that his value to the team was secure. Lombardi had an uncanny talent for motivating and encouraging his players, and always knew exactly when it was most important. Maxwell’s law of timing teaches us, “When to lead is as important as what to do and where to go” (Maxwell, 2007). Vince Lombardi did an amazing job of modeling the way and his players saw his willingness to give 150%. He expected them to sacrifice everything for the team, and his players in turn saw Lombardi sacrificing as well. Lombardi was first to show and the last to leave. He could not have done a better job of setting the ultimate example for his team. Sacrifice is something that inspires men, and it is crucial for followers to see their leaders sacrifice. “A leader must ‘give up,’ in order to ‘go up,’” That is the law of sacrifice (Maxwell, 2007). With Lombardi, the Packers purposely had a very simple play book. Lombardi wanted to enable and empower his players to act. "The blocking calls were left to the linemen themselves; there were fewer plays, but more options" (DiGiacomo, 1999). He let the players think and make decide on their own. Lombardi knew that the simplest solution was usually the best. By...
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