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Issue 503 - Great Leaders Hold Themselves Accountable (Tony Dungy Part Two)

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 10 Issue 503
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



Tony Dungy was head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1996 to 2001, and head coach of the Indianapolis Colts from 2002 to 2008. Coach Dungy became the first African American head coach to win the Super Bowl when his Colts defeated the Chicago Bears in 2007. Dungy also set a new NFL record for consecutive playoff appearances by a head coach in 2008 after securing his tenth straight playoff appearance.
In his book, The Leader Mentor, Coach Dungy points out the importance of a leader being accountable and not blaming others when things don't work out as planned:
"Being accountable is one of the most important things a leader can do. To me, it's closely aligned with character. It's hard to have true character if you can't be accountable. Too often, however, we've seen the contrary. "I didn't mean what I said." "It wasn't my fault."
In the NFL, it's not uncommon to see head coaches firing their lieutenants to save their own jobs. In fact, it's almost a postseason ritual. How many times have we seen a coach fire his offensive or defensive coordinators—or both! In many cases, the coordinator merely did what he was hired to do or was instructed to do each week.
Once, in Tampa, I allowed others to influence my decision to fire our offensive coordinator, even though I knew the coordinator was doing exactly what we had agreed he should be doing. I convinced myself at the time that I was saving other jobs by sacrificing one. That decision is still my single greatest leadership regret.
Nothing is more deflating to morale than to have a poor outcome pinned on someone who doesn't deserve it. It lacks integrity and it overvalues the outcome at the expense of the people, as well as the process. Most of the time, we are only judged on the outcome, whereas the only thing we can control is the process. Make your process the right one and stay true to it."
Do you hold yourself accountable?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




Watch Video

Application Exercise



All For The Best

Things mostly happen for the best.
However hard it seems to-day,
When some fond plan has gone astray
Or what you've wished for most is lost
An' you sit countin' up the cost
With eyes half-blind by tears o' grief
While doubt is chokin' out belief,
You'll find when all is understood
That what seemed bad was really good.

Life can't be counted in a day.
The present rain that will not stop
Next autumn means a bumper crop.
We wonder why some things must be-
Care's purpose we can seldom see-
An' yet long afterwards we turn
To view the past, an' then we learn
That what once filled our minds with doubt
Was good for us as it worked out.

I've never known an hour of care
But that I've later come to see
That it has brought some joy to me.
Even the sorrows I have borne,
Leavin' me lonely an' forlorn
An' hurt an' bruised an' sick at heart,
In life's great plan have had a part.
An' though I could not understand
Why I should bow to Death's command,
As time went on I came to know
That it was really better so.

Things mostly happen for the best.
So narrow is our vision here
That we are blinded by a tear
An' stunned by every hurt an' blow
Which comes to-day to strike us low.
An' yet some day we turn an' find
That what seemed cruel once was kind.
Most things, I hold, are wisely planned
If we could only understand.

Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)






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