Four words great leaders must be able to say…
Seeing how the big game is only a few days away, I will interrupt my series on firing employees to revisit this leadership blunder. For those of you unfamiliar with the events in this clip, it was without a doubt the single worst, dumb, idiotic, play call, in the history of sports. Sounds like I am exaggerating right?! Wrong.
Down by 4 points in the Super Bowl and standing on the 1-yard line with a mere 27 second left in the game Seahawks coach Pete Caroll, decides to run a pass play, rather than use one of the most forceful running back in the NFL to pound it into the end zone. He would instantly regret it, as Malcolm Butler jumped the route and intercepted the ball. Game over.
To further exacerbate the situation, coach Caroll, who was known for being a great coach and leader couldn’t utter these simple words, “I made a mistake”. He offered up all sorts of reasons why they ran that play, and said numerous times, “The outcome was bad, not the decision”.
Great leadership requires to stand tall and say out loud, with no equivocation, “I made a mistake!” Do not think for a moment that your team, employees, co-workers will think any less of you. Just the opposite. They will see that you are a confident, yet humble and honest leader who isn’t afraid to let everyone know they committed a blunder. Everyone makes mistakes, even NFL coaches. On this night, coach Caroll committed two egregious offenses. First the play call, and then not owning up to it.
By the way, I don’t think it’s any coincidence the Seahawks haven’t reached the same level of dominance they had before that fateful play and it has been reported that they have suffered from infighting and dissent within the locker room.
So be a fearless leader and stand tall and admit you made a mistake. Your team will only respect you even more.
Join me on February 20th for an in depth look at leadership in a session entitled "Leadership by movie!"