6 Keys to Winning in Business and Life From the NFL's Greatest Coaches

Leadership is a complex topic, but these tips from some of the greatest NFL coaches can help you become a better leader.

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By Brad Klune

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As football fans know, great players need great coaches to have success. From Vince Lombardi to Bill Belichick, there are countless examples of coaches who have made a lasting impression on the sport and left a legacy of winning. But beyond the X's and O's of football strategy, what can we learn about business from these legendary coaches?

Here are a few lessons from some of the greatest coaches in NFL history:

1. The importance of hard work

"The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand."—Vince Lombardi

One of the most successful coaches in NFL history, Vince Lombardi instilled a work ethic in his players that has become the stuff of legend. His philosophy was simple: hard work and determination are the keys to success. This lesson can be applied to any business, as it's only through dedication to our work and a commitment to excellence that we can achieve our goals.

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2. The power of self-discipline

"The only discipline that lasts is self-discipline."—Bill Belichick

Self-discipline is a critical trait for any successful business leader. It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day demands of running a business and lose sight of the bigger picture, but it's important to stay focused and stay on track in order to achieve long-term success.

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3. The value of teamwork

"I'm a big believer in the power of teams. I think teams can accomplish more than individuals."—Joe Gibbs

In football, as in business, it's important to work together as a team. Each player has their own role and responsibilities, but the team's success depends on everyone working together towards a common goal.

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4. The importance of adaptability

"You have to be able to adapt. If you can't adapt, you can't survive."—Andy Reid

Andy Reid, head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, is known for his ability to adapt his offense to the strengths of his players. He has a reputation for being able to develop and utilize the talents of his players, which has helped him lead his team to numerous playoff appearances.

In business, it's important to be able to adapt to changes in the market or industry, and to be flexible in order to succeed. Nick Huzar, the founder of Offer Up, says that adaptability is a critical cultural characteristic.

5. The power of continuous improvement

"Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan."—Tom Landry

In the NFL, teams are constantly looking for ways to improve their performance and become more competitive. In business, it's important to continuously learn and grow, and to strive for continuous improvement in order to stay ahead of the competition.

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6. The importance of good communication

"For me, I just want there to be no question from any player what my intent, objective and where my motivation is coming from." - Mike McDaniel

As a coach of the Eagles, McDaniel is responsible for leading and directing a large and diverse group of players, each with their own unique skill sets and personalities. In order to effectively manage this team, he has had to learn how to effectively communicate his expectations and goals to his players, as well as listen to their feedback and concerns.

These are just a few of the many lessons we can learn from legendary coaches in the NFL. Whether it's the importance of hard work, the value of self-discipline, or the power of passion, these coaches have left a lasting impact on the sport and have much to teach us about business and leadership.

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Brad Klune

Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP

Head of Business Operations

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor. Head of Business Operations at Intro. Former leadership at Uber and Instawork.

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