8 Timeless Business Lessons From Bill Belichick. Since he joined the organization in 2000, the Patriots have won five Super Bowls. [Tweet this] Belichick does not believe in "tenured" jobs for his players. Lesson #2: Focus on being better organized than the competition. Belichick created a "modern, sophisticated" team that played by different rules and valued different skills/metrics than any other team. Lesson #4: Effective team management matters. [Tweet this] After losing a particularly important playoff game to an injury-ridden Patriots team, Peyton Manning (MVP that year) commented that, "it doesn't seem to matter who they trot out there, it's their 'system' that wins them games." Lesson #6: Team > individual. [Tweet this] Belichick is all about the team first and individual second. He became an expert at finding weaknesses in his opponents' offenses and defenses.
Editor’s Note: This post was published in 2006. Stats were updated in 2016 to reflect Belichick’s current coaching record — and the CD and TiVo references were left for posterity.
Many of you who are football fans or are from New England probably know who Bill Belichick is. For the rest of you, he is the head coach of the New England Patriots. Since he joined the organization in 2000, the Patriots have won five Super Bowls.
As a student of business strategy, I find Belichick to be a fascinating character. His accomplishment of winning five Super Bowls is truly remarkable because the market (NFL) he competes in is “efficient” by design, and rebalances itself to increase efficiency in clever ways.
Every year, the teams that were top performers the prior year are penalized by getting lower relative draft picks than the teams that didn’t perform as well. In addition, the NFL has a salary cap, so even if your team sells out every game, has massive endorsement deals, and humongous TV deals as a result of winning all those Super Bowls, there is a cap on spending that puts you at the same level as every other team.
I had a chance to listen to the Bill Belichick biography by David Halberstam over the weekend on CD and also happened to watch his interview on 60 minutes that I TiVo’d awhile back. Here are some of the highlights I pulled out of the two that are both relative to his management style and his competitive strategy formulation.