Copy Football Coaches for Work Success

Great coaches could teach business a whole lot about teamwork and leadership.


It's September, and football season is now officially underway. The first high school and college games were played over the weekend, and it's about time.

I want to talk about coaches today. You can insert your own memory of your favorite sport and coach, beginning now.

Here are seven things that coaches do that each one of us can do in our own jobs:

1. Put people in positions where they can be successful. Good coaches don't put small kids in the line—they know better.

2. Realize their success is solely determined by the team's success. No one ever got the Coach of the Year Award for being in last place, but coaches never run, pass, or tackle.

3. Manage and lead. Those are two different skills, and good coaches know when to do both.

4. Motivate individually and as a team. What works for Johnny behind closed doors does not work on the team at halftime.

5. Adjust, fix, and regroup. When it is not going well during the first half, great coaches change the game plan, if needed. They can tell what needs to be fixed or adjusted or abandoned.

6. Take the blame. Great coaches know that almost everything that goes badly is on them. They didn't put enough practice into the two-minute drill or how to get the field goal team on the field with 30 seconds left.

7. Develop players. Not everyone can be a star, but a good team is made up of experienced seniors and the freshmen who carry the Gatorade. The coach knows he'll need that freshman.

G. L. Hoffman is a serial entrepreneur and venture investor/operator/incubator/mentor. Two of his companies have traveled the entire success path from the garage to IPO. Currently, he is chairman of JobDig, and his blog can be found at or at


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