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Leadercast inspires, showcasing top leaders who share their challenges and insights at the largest one-day leadership event in the world. We’ve had University of Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban in our lineup for months, and we sure picked a winner for you! Coach Saban led the Crimson Tide to its 10th National Title in last night’s championship game. What can college football’s most dominant coach teach us about team building, sustained winning and values-based leadership? Read on… and join us May 6, 2016!
Many people say they can’t imagine what it feels like to be Coach Nick Saban today … or the exhilaration of being one of his players. In fact, his colleagues shake their heads and wonder, “How does he do it, year after year?”
Coach Saban would tell you that it’s not all that complicated. His assistant head coach, Mario Cristobal, said in Sports Illustrated last year, “[Nick’s] always on the attack to improve. He always says to us, ‘You need to look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, What are you not good at? Confront it and demand of yourself a way to fix it.’”
Arriving on the campus of the University of Alabama in 2007, Coach Saban has been rebuilding and re-energizing Alabama’s team ever since. He assessed the players’ strengths and weaknesses and selected coaches and staff to work with his players in new ways. Saban is quick to point out that he didn’t create anything by himself – as any great leader knows, it takes a team to achieve this kind of winnership.
Adam Kramer, national college football lead writer for the Bleacher Report, said in his article this morning, describing the gutsiest play of last night’s championship, “Long before Saban made the most memorable call of an incredible career, he showed the world he was capable of change. We simply didn’t bother to notice. In many ways, this play was the culmination of Saban’s reinvention of himself and his team over the past two years.”
With the score tied, Saban said his team needed a lift. So he took a calculated risk, one that his own staff said had a 50-50 chance at best.
As quoted in Vince Maratta’s article this morning on ArizonaSports.com, Coach Saban said:
“We were tired on defense and weren’t doing a good job of getting them stopped. And I felt like if we didn’t do something or take a chance to change the momentum of the game, we wouldn’t have a chance to win.”
What else don’t we know about the behind-the-scenes Coach Saban? The qualities and characteristics that don’t necessarily make the media, but drive his success, his leadership, and his players’ collaborative spirit? And how can we all take a page from his playbook to develop our own values-based leadership, support those we work with, and build high-achieving teams? Coach Saban will share his leadership insights at this year’s Leadercast Live, May 6 in Atlanta and in host sites around the world. Until then, join the cheering for last night’s win and embrace a few of Coach Saban’s top leadership principles, characteristics and moments:
• Continually strive for improvement. When Coach Saban called Ohio State’s Coach Todd Herman last year for insight and suggestions, it spoke to Saban’s combination of vulnerability, humility and focus. Herman said of Saban in a Sports Illustrated Campus Rush article, “He was so egoless. However successful he’s been the past few years, he was still looking for a way to get better.” Saban recognized it as a chance to increase his knowledge and improve his team. “There wasn’t a better learning opportunity for us than to go to the folks who were involved,” Saban said. “We learned a lot about ourselves, and how they prepared for the game, versus how we prepared for the game.”
• “Win the moment.” Best-selling author, speaker, former SI editor, and Leadercast Now speaker, Don Yaeger, has interviewed Coach Saban and gleaned his top leadership tactics. In a recent blog, Don discussed Coach Saban’s approach when he was coaching at Michigan State. Says Don, “Shortly before playing No. 1-ranked Ohio State, Saban told the players to focus on executing the next play and not to worry about winning. The outcome: Michigan State upset the Buckeyes 28-24, giving Saban one of the first major wins in his storied career. This is a simple yet profound tactic. Humans spend too much time thinking about past mistakes or way-in-the-future events; such micro-focus can have paralyzing effects on a team. Saban teaches his players to ‘win the moment’— it’s not about what was accomplished in the past and tomorrow isn’t promised for anyone. Winning is about the present.”
• Take calculated risks. Last night’s onside kick play that Saban called during the fourth quarter will go down in history. Alabama had practiced but not yet perfected it, but Coach Saban trusted himself and his team. According to Jon Johnson’s article in Dothan Eagle, Saban said, “It was calculated on the fact that I thought we could execute it, and the way they lined up, it was available to us. It was worth the risk, I felt.”
• Celebrate the victories. My personal favorite video of Coach Saban shows him smiling and dancing with his team, just minutes before Alabama’s Cotton Bowl win over Michigan State—his former team. Celebrating wins helps unify teams and motivates them to continue to achieve. It also increases confidence and pride in the organization. How do you celebrate your team’s successes? If you’re not stopping to acknowledge and value contributions, you’re missing an opportunity to develop those around you.
Only one person can tell you the secret to this kind of sustained winning. Attend the only worldwide leadership development event featuring the most dominant college football coach in history and five-time National Championship winner, Nick Saban. Only at Leadercast.
➢ Be inspired! Join Nick Saban LIVE! at this year’s Leadercast, May 6, 2016
➢ Be a thought-leader! Host Leadercast in your community via live simulcast!
➢Be connected! Find and attend a Host Site in your community to build your leadership along with your network!