Professional Football Front Office Management; “F-U-D-E-S for thought” – Part I

I recently had the opportunity to work with legendary coaching agent Bob Lamonte.  Lamonte made it very clear to me about formulating “your vision” and being able to “sell it” to a club.  It was a fascinating exercise that eventually led me to my FUDES premise of an NFL General Manager – Focus, Unity, Direction & Excellence, will lead you to Success. 

The following is my own personal vision and a culmination of years of service in both the Air Force and the National Football League.  This “road map” can and should be implemented in any endeavor that calls for the lasting principles of teamwork and strong leadership.  Here are the first three – FOCUS, UNITY & DIRECTION.  

Understanding and implementing a core set of proven fundamentals will foster successful change to create a high performance team culture.  Regardless of the endeavor these principles hold true and will help keep the General Manager on course to his ultimate purpose –WINNING A SUPER BOWL.

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FOCUS

  • The “pressure dynamic” that is professional football demands the General Manager keep all aspects of the organization centered on its objectives and goals.
  • Each and every phase of football operations has a prescribed purpose in creating a consistent playoff contender that positively reflects upon both the community and the National Football League.
  • Determined efforts towards success will create loyalty and pride among coaches and players.  Fans will give their unwavering enthusiasm and support as a result.
  • Internally there may be pursuit of multiple objectives, but outwardly only one – Victory.  FOCUS and concentration will be the driving force of change.

UNITY

  • All place “team” above personal objectives or aspirations.  The entire organization is working on “the same page”.  Everyone understands how “their job counts” and the importance of their individual efforts contributing to the goals of the organization.
  • A firm understanding of the “ripple effect” will stress the integration of coaching, personnel, operations, medical and all other endeavors of football operations.  Emphasis is on the foundation of these integrated relationships to create organizational change.
  • These relationships will in turn provide the energy and enthusiasm necessary to achieve goals in a unified manner.

DIRECTION

  • The General Manager provides leadership that creates and codifies detailed plans and procedures in every phase.  These plans and procedures are to be well-developed and continually updated.
  • The General Manager synthesizes resources (budgets, people, time, knowledge) towards the completion of these plans.  The General Manager works to create opportunities rather than try to avoid failures.
  • The General Manager provides “crisis management” (when necessary) by remaining calm, emphasizing the process of consistent effort and concentrating on the long-term goal.  The team will not indulge in short-term triumphs nor languish over temporary setbacks.
  • The General Manager is aware of the strengths and limitations of the people who execute these plans and of the probable outcome/consequences of each option considered.  Constant and concise feedback guides the efforts on a continual basis.  The staff is given latitude in their work but accepts the responsibility of their own performance.
  • The organization is respected for the way it consistently handles its business with the media, with the fans, with the League and with the agent community.

All three are precursors for EXCELLENCE & SUCCESS.

I’ll cover both in the next TFE post: “F-U-D-E-S for thought” – Part II

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