616: Michael Lombardi, part 1: Culture, Leadership, and Football
Leaders who know how to lead and change culture know culture eats strategy for breakfast.
This concept figures strongly in Michael’s book, Gridiron Genius. When most people watch football, they see the game, maybe the game plan and strategy. We see it on the scale of a play, maybe a game involving twenty-two men on a field, maybe also the coaches and trainers.
Michael sees each play in the context of the game, season, and overall culture of football as it evolves over decades. He knows the key players, coaches, owners, past players, their careers, their relationships, and their families if relevant.
To understand and change culture doesn’t come from just telling people what to do. It means listening, understanding, testing, trying, failing, coming back, succeeding, relationships, and using tools like stories, beliefs, images, role models, not just carrots and sticks or instruction.
To hear Michael talk football reveals levels of leadership and culture beyond what most of us ever see, honed through decades of living and loving the game and everything in it. I hope the application to sustainability is obvious. You’ll hear in his sharing what fans miss when television hides the full game why I can’t stand people thinking they’re leading in sustainability by coercing, cajoling, convincing, or seeking compliance.
Give everything you’ve got because you love it. Reach your potential. Break past what you thought your potential was to new possibilities.