Guest post by Ted Sundquist, author of Taking Your Team to the Top.

I had the opportunity to work with legendary coaching agent Bob Lamonte.  Lamonte made it very clear to me about formulating “your vision” and being able to “sell it” to a club.  It was a fascinating exercise that eventually led me to my FUDES premise of an NFL General Manager – Focus, Unity, Direction & Excellence, will lead you to Success.

The following is my own vision and a culmination of years of service in both the Air Force and the National Football League.  This “road map” can and should be implemented in any endeavor that calls for the lasting principles of teamwork and strong leadership.  Simply replace GM, football, and NFL with any pursuit of success through the building and management of strong teams.  Here are the first three – FOCUS, UNITY & DIRECTION.

FOCUS

  • The “pressure dynamic” that is professional football demands the GM keep all aspects of the organization centered on its objectives and goals.
  • Determined efforts towards success will create loyalty and pride among coaches and players.  Fans will give their unwavering enthusiasm and support as a result.
  • FOCUS and concentration will be the driving force of change.

UNITY

  • All place “team” above personal objectives or aspirations.  Everyone understands how “their job counts” and the importance of their individual efforts contributing to the goals of the organization.
  • A firm understanding of the “ripple effect” will stress the integration of coaching, personnel, operations, medical and all other endeavors of football operations.  Emphasis is on the foundation of these integrated relationships to create organizational change.

DIRECTION

  • The GM provides leadership that creates detailed plans and procedures in every phase.  They work to create opportunities rather than try to avoid failures.
  • The GM provides “crisis management” by remaining calm, emphasizing the process of consistent effort and concentrating on the long-term goal.
  • The organization is respected for the way it consistently handles its business with the media, with the fans, with the League and with the agent community.

All three are precursors for EXCELLENCE & SUCCESS.

EXCELLENCE

  • The team achieves by working “harder” and by working “smarter”
  • The driving factor in decision-making is knowledge. Every interaction is an opportunity to generate information.  Knowledge leads to the right people and in turn the creation of the right processes and procedures to produce  results.
  • The GM seeks experts in areas that maximize their performance levels. Players and employees are cultivated as “assets” rather than used as “commodities”.

SUCCESS

  • SUCCESS on the field is the inevitable result of implementing and executing focus, unity, direction and excellence.  You need to create a work environment that convinces the staff and players that they are capable of achieving the “Impossible”.
  • Achieving the “Impossible” is about change.  The road to SUCCESS is about how quickly and effectively this change is implemented.  Change occurs more efficiently when people are excited about the future rather than resisting it.  Only then will positive concrete results occur.
  • SUCCESS brings with it long-term organizational stability, a winning energy both on and off the field, and ultimately a club that others seek to “model” themselves.

Understanding and implementing a core set of proven fundamentals will foster successful change to create a high performance team culture.  Regardless of the endeavor these principles hold true and will help keep the General Manager on course to his ultimate purpose –WINNING A SUPER BOWL