|photo credit: Chauncer via photopin cc|
Many of the best coaches in history—Bill Parcells, Phil Jackson, Tony LaRussa, among others—have written books about their success and have influenced businessmen, other coaches, and individuals looking to better themselves. It makes sense to look to the best for tips on being better. But what happens if you are in a culture of failure? Take, for example, Minnesota professional sports, a context with which I am deeply familiar that has a perpetual string of disappointments. Can we learn lessons for success from those who aren’t successful?
Just this past week I saw the general manager of baseball’s Minnesota Twins, who is responsible for acquiring talent for the team, re-sign a manager who has led the team to three-straight 90-loss seasons. This came just days after the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings coach said he would keep a quarterback in the starting lineup who has played poorly for nearly 30 straight games even though the backup QB had just led the team to its first win of the season. My reaction to these decisions started with anger, moved to morose resignation, and then ultimately landed on laughter at the absurdity. But then I started to wonder what it was that led to such ongoing failure and came up with a few observations.
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