3 Inspiring Leadership Lessons From NFL Coaches

leadership lessons from NFL coachesFootball season is in full swing! If you’re anything like me, this time of year brings a special kind of joy (possibly depending on how your Fantasy draft is going). While there are plenty of exceptional executive leadership consultants and keynote speakers to quote, which I often do, I thought this would be the perfect time to pay homage to some of the greatest leadership lessons from NFL coaches


Regardless of which team you root for, there are valuable leadership lessons to be learned from these credible coaches.


Here Are 3 Exceptional Leadership Lessons We Can Learn From NFL Coaches:

“Leaders are made, they are not born.”

Vince Lombardi, Coach for the Green Bay Packers and Washington Redskins


Sure, people are born with different aptitudes for leadership, some more than others. But extraordinary leadership is no accident or happenstance  — it is built, curated, coached, and fostered with intentionality. If you are waiting to wake up one day and suddenly be a better leader than you were the day before, you are only going to find yourself disappointed and frustrated. It takes work to become an extraordinary leader. Do you know where to start?


“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.”

Jimmy Johnson, Coach for the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins


What is meant by “extraordinary” leadership? To put it simply, a lot of people can be classified as good leaders — leaders who are kind, intelligent, goal-oriented, communicative, etc. But extraordinary leadership, where you see teamwork, collaboration, and profits soar, that is the “little extra” that is so hard to come by. 


This level of leadership can truly only be achieved when you have an experienced coach pushing you and guiding you to identify strengths and challenges, adapt behaviors and responses, learn new skills, use resources you didn’t even know were available, and set new habits in place. This is true on and off the field. 


“Leadership is a matter of having people look at you and gain confidence. If you’re in control, they’re in control.”

Tom Landry, Head Coach for the Dallas Cowboys (1960–1988)


Is your team fully bought into your goals and vision? An extraordinary leader is one who is backed by his or her team completely. When that leader makes a decision, team members know with confidence that they are protected and that they are being led in the right direction. 


Have you portrayed this confidence to them? Are you being met with resistance? Do you know how to repair your team’s doubt and mistrust in your leadership? This is where a coach steps in to help you identify the root of the issue and then make a plan to correct it. You will only be able to meet your goals if your team is fully on board, and they will only climb aboard if they trust you to guide the ship.


What leadership lessons from NFL coaches would you have added to the list?


All extraordinary leaders have a coach. Do you have one?

Contact me today for information on how to get started.



About Dr. Wilkerson, PD, MBA, PCC.

Jerrund Wilkerson

Do you want to increase your impact? Do you want to increase profits under your leadership? Do you want to develop and use your abilities to the fullest to better connect with and lead others? Executive Leadership Coaching covers these bases. Dr. Jerrund Wilkerson, PD, MBA, PCC, has more than 30 years of successful executive leadership coaching in the United States and internationally.

As a licensed pharmacist, he is particularly passionate about helping develop effective leaders in the healthcare community. Dr. Wilkerson has coached and trained thousands of managers and leaders. He is a certified coach and member of the John Maxwell Leadership Team.

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