Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thoughts from Leaders in Dallas

Here are some quotes coming out of Dallas after the firing of Cowboys Coach Wade Phillips.

Jerry Jones - Owner and General Manager - When asked why he didn't change the situation sooner, he responded,  "I was in denial."

If you are the ultimate decision maker and you are "in denial" or can't see the true situation - your organization will pay the price for your mistake.  Open your eyes and seek the true situation.

Being in denial also lets leaders off the hook; it allows them to avoid tough conversations or creating unknown or unplanned situations.  Again - the organization is paying the price for inaction.

Jason Garrett - The former Offensive Coordinator and new Head Coach:  Asked how he will make the Cowboys better?  He said, "we're going to do more things that contribute to winning.  We're going to clarify expectations and I'm going to ask the players to be great everyday."

Garrett has the right answers.  He seems excited. He looks confident and he knows he has a limited time to prove he can be a head coach.  We should all watch to see if his leadership style improves his team.  He can talk the talk - will that turn the team around?

Jon Kitna - Veteran NFL Quarterback and current starting Quarterback.  When asked what he thought about Jason Garrett becoming the new coach, he reportedly said, "he has some of the things that make a good coach."

If this statement is accurate - it's neither a ringing endorsement or the kind of support a new leader needs to succeed.

Four questions for you?

Is there a place where you are in denial?
Is there a situation where you can't or won't see the real situation?
Is your leadership producing the results your team needs?
Are you supporting other leaders in your organization?


  1. All good points Mike. Interesting that this post follows the previous one with the discussion of three coaches and Wade Phillips is mentioned in both. Also interesting is another that I would suggest that a leaders denial very often is linked to an inability (or unwillingness) to consult other members of the organization. I have seen this in both the military and in business. Leaders who think they have all the answers will supress innovation and initiative in their subordinates.

  2. Too often leaders and organizations fail to realize that staying the same is a decision to not change. The mantra "we've never done it that way" is one of the most serious liabilities to any organization.