The passing of a legend

Bill Walsh, the legendary coach of the San Francisco 49ers, passed away yesterday. He was only 75 years old. For those of you that don’t follow football, Bill Walsh not only turned around one of the worst franchises in history, he changed the game of football forever with his innovative ideas.

Walsh took over the 49ers in 1979 after they won only 2 games the season before. In just 3 seasons the 49ers won the Super Bowl. They went on to win 5 Super Bowls in the 1980’s which is a record that still stands today. So what does coaching a football team have to do with building a successful business?

It has everything to do with building a successful business. Bill Walsh created the 49er dynasty by creating a positive atmosphere based on trust and integrity. He was consistent and always true to his word. He had high expectations and everyone on the team knew they had to consistently meet those expectations if they wanted to stay on the team.

Bill was fair to everyone and brought out the best in them. He believed in his players and he knew they could succeed. Many of the greatest players in football history said that Bill was the reason they succeeded. They thought they were average players but Bill believed they could be great players. Bill’s encouragement and guidance made them perform way beyond their own expectations.
Joe Montana and Steve Young were both average college football players. Neither was drafted very high because no pro scouts thought they were very good. Neither Joe nor Steve believed they were more than average players. But Bill Walsh saw something in both of them. He worked with them and made them believe they were great. Between them they won 5 Super Bowls and both are in the Hall of Fame today.

Bill stood for fairness, consistency, quality, perfection, execution and always giving 100% effort. Look at the most successful businesses today. Don’t they stand for the same things? Is your business consistent? Do you provide the highest quality product or service? Do you always give 100% effort to satisfy your customers? How about your employees?

Think about how you can learn from Bill Walsh and turn your business into a Hall of Fame business.

To your success,
Ted Prodromou
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