The college football season kicks off tonight, which means it’s only two days until my beloved Texas Longhorns – yes, I bleed Burnt Orange – take the field against Louisiana-Monroe. Now before you laugh at the Warhawks chances against the preseason #2 team in the nation, remember it was just two years ago they upset Alabama, and the Crimson Tide’s head coach is the highest paid in the game.
One trait Mack Brown, Nick Saban and other mega-millionaire coaches share is the ability to observe players, determine what each does best, and place them in positions to succeed. When Mack had Ricky Williams running to the Heisman, Texas was a power-I team. A few years later, they instituted the zone read to take advantage of Vince Young’s speed at quarterback. Last year, Colt McCoy set an all-time record for percentage completion. Three different superstars; three different approaches. Lots of wins.
Business leaders would do well to take a lesson from college football coaches. Instead of struggling to fit your team members into your preconceived views/job descriptoins of what they need to be doing, look at their talents and figure out what they would be best at doing. Then go and recruit others to fill in the gaps.
At Texas, the best athletes also perform on special teams. Thus, Sergio Kindle, a preseason All-America lineman, is on the punt block unit, and Jordan Shipley, who has 132 career pass receptions, returns punts and kickoffs. When you have talented people, find a way to keep them on the field doing what they do better than anyone else.