It’s Super Bowl day, and for the first time ever two brothers will coach opposing teams in the season’s ultimate game. Whether you’re in a pub watching it or in the office as if it’s any other Monday, it’s worth taking a minute to appreciate the leadership on show today.
The two coaches, John Harbaugh running the Baltimore Ravens and Jim Harbaugh steering the San Francisco 49ers, are brothers just one year apart in age. They come from a footballing family through their father Jack, who played and coached the game with great success too.
What makes this dynamic especially interesting is that John and Jim are coaches today too. They could have been great players under the guidance of a football mad father, but no, they are leaders in the game just like him. And leading at the very top level too.
So what was been the key to Jack Harbaugh reproducing such a high standard of leadership talent?
Instilling an insatiable work ethic and enthusiasm in whatever the boys did through a resolute role model.
This lesson, as you might imagine, comes from their father Jack who would send the two boys off to school each day with the line, “Attack this day with enthusiasm unknown to mankind.”
It’s said he repeatedly received calls from the school principal regarding the over exuberance of the boys in the playground. But by continuing with his invigorating line, the brothers admit that it stayed on their minds 24 hours a day.
And as the two boys started their coaching careers as assistants to their father, the message was the same. Be the benchmark for fervour and intensity, everyday, in whatever you’re doing.
Looking at what they’ve achieved as coaches today, leading the biggest game on the American sporting calendar, it’s evident that Jack Harbaugh was a terrific leader.
Because all leaders can cultivate followers, but only the best can create leaders themselves.
So when you’re dealing with someone you lead, don’t just train them to follow instruction and take initiative. Train them to take your job, because if you’re good enough, one day they will.