Friday, September 7, 2012

Powerful Read: Leadership Lessons from Nick Saban

By: @LivingCrimson

Fortune magazine Saban Jones Warmack Milliner Williams JohnsonBryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Ala., Aug. 1, 2012. From left: Michael Williams, Dee Milliner,
Coach Saban, Nico Johnson, Barrett Jones, and Chance Warmack

Fortune Magazine, on newsstands September 24th, includes a brilliant look at Coach Saban’s success. Revealing many new details about “The Process,” included are eye-opening descriptions of Saban’s innovations and methodological approach to even the smallest of minutiae.

Following is a lighthearted look at highlights of the piece, because the real thing is as intense as the man himself.

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This article strikes me like the big reveal in Ninjago when we learn Zane, Ninja of Ice, is really a robot. Nick Saban IS. NOT. HUMAN. He’s probably a master of Spinjitzu, too.

  • His efficiency measures include eating the same lunch every day to avoid wasting even a minute of time on menu surfing instead of recruiting.
  • He has been instrumental in growing The University’s enrollment while increasing the quality of applicants (and no, not by oversigning).
  • His college football history-making success at Alabama has almost tripled the athletic department’s revenue, enough to finally have cell service in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
  • New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick wears Saban pajamas, and is proud of it.
  • Nick Saban doesn’t need pajamas because he never sleeps. He never even yawns, and he totally PWNS Coach Cochran.
  • He has a Vision, people, and he’s not afraid to use it – or your vision, as the case may be. The new strength and conditioning facility currently under construction will include special vision training equipment.
  • Skype has no plans to enact a “Saban Rule” like those wannabes at the NCAA.
  • His coaching staff counts D.J. Fluker’s chicken nuggets and submits written reports. Bottom line first, folks.
  • Before each game, Saban and his coaches have a what-if meeting – what if we play Michigan and Michigan State combined, would that be a challenge?
  • If there was a national championship in perfectionism, he would have more titles than Bear Bryant and Knute Rockne combined.
  • He passes used car lots with a gleam in his eye. One day he’ll reach that goal, too.
  • Every play in every game has a history and a life of its own. You can research them on Ancestry.com for a nominal fee.
  • Winning is fun, but execution is more important. Next up on the chopping block, Western Kentucky.
  • His academic advisers followed the players to school one day, and everywhere the players went the advisers were sure to go.
  • A sports psychiatrist develops full psychological profiles of each player on the roster so the coaches know what buttons to push. Eddie Lacy OFFICIALLY has a circle button.
  • Saban effectively uses a leadership-development consultant with players to build personal success stories. He also employs improv actors to teach how to “act like you’ve been there before,” without the improv really…
  • His players workouts include martial arts and Pilates, but do not include Miley Cyrus style wear a/k/a Auburn daisy dukes.
  • He is not motivated to win another national championship, just to succeed on the field while equipping players with the tools to achieve their life goals. But is it really an accident that the number 15 is associated with crystal? Hmmm.

Roll, Process, Roll.


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