I’m 50 years old and having lived my entire life in the state of Michigan, I’ve always been a Detroit Tigers, Pistons, Red Wings and, until recently, a Lions fan. And, as a result, during my 50 years I’ve celebrated two World Series championships, three NBA championships, four Stanley Cups, and one NFL playoff victory.
Yes, that’s right. The Lions have won one playoff game during my half century of life. Now I’m not greedy, I’m happy to be a Tiger’s fan and win a World Series every 25 years. I just need to know that my teams are doing what it takes to win and then actually bringing home a championship every couple of decades.
So, being a student of organizations and leadership, the question I’ve often asked is why have the Lions won just one playoff game while Detroit’s other professional sports franchises have won multiple world championships during the past 50 years? Well it’s not because of the players, coaches or management, since they’ve changed a dozen times during the past 5 decades. Nor is the city, because if it was, our other professional teams wouldn’t have won any championships either. There’s only one answer that makes any sense, because there’s only one common denominator found during the past 50 Lion’s seasons – the ownership.
This isn’t surprising because winning always starts at the top. So if there hasn’t been a NFL championship in 50 years it has to be because of the leadership at the top. I know this to be true because in every organization I’ve been a part of, winning, and losing, always started at the very top.
So a number of years ago I gave up being a Lions fan, along with the frustration and broken heart that come with being a Lion’s fan, until the day comes when they have new ownership. It’s the only change I believe will lead to consistent winning, the one that could lead to the Lions winning a Super Bowl43.928283-85.286682
A few years ago, the season after the Indianapolis Colts won the Super Bowl; we hosted a small group of SpringHill friends at a Colts preseason practice session where we had a few minutes with Coach Tony Dungy. During the Q&A time one of the questions our group asked Coach Dungy was “what are the qualities the Colts look for in players?”
He responded without even thinking about his answer, reflecting the deeply held values he and the Colts had about the kind of players they looked for. Coach Dungy said there were three things they expected from every player:
- Players had to be smart. To help assess this quality one of the things the Colts did was simply reviewed the academic records of players being considered for their team.
- Players had to be goal orientated. The Colts evaluated this quality by asking potential players to state their goals for their career and their life.
- Players had to be team players: Before drafting or signing players the Colts asked a number of current teammates of a potential player to name the 10 people on their team they’d most want to play with on future teams. If a potential player didn’t make these lists the Colts won’t sign them.
Simple, straightforward yet imagine if all the players on the team you’re currently on, whether it’s a sports team or a business or ministry team, had all three of these qualities. What kind of team would it be? What championships might you win?43.928283-85.286682