To Bill Belichick, Style Doesn't Matter
In any industry, understanding the problems with our initial strategy can help preserve the chances of being successful.
This morning, most of the NFL media will ask coaches about their games this past weekend and if the style was one they preferred — as if the games were judged on likability, TV ratings or fun factors.
But to Patriots Coach Bill Belichick, style isn’t important — winning is — which is why he was annoyed at this question years ago. For Belichick and really every coach, how their team wins — high scoring, low scoring — doesn’t matter. Having one point more than the opponent is the only concern.
To be successful, the great strategists realize they often must quickly revise their plans. Instant adjustments are the critical aspect to all good strategists.
Belichick is like all great strategists when the game begins. He will spend the first 15 minutes assessing his strategy and if his team’s preparations were correct.
But we don’t have to be Super Bowl-winning coaches to adapt our techniques. In any industry, understanding the problems with our initial strategy can help preserve the chances of being successful. Belichick will ask himself: “Did I prepare for the team correctly for how the game has unfolded?” In our chosen field, we can ask ourselves a similar question.
If Belichick believes his assessment was correct, then full steam ahead for the next two (yes, two quarters) quarters. If he is wrong and his strategy needs revision, then as the leader, he tells his coaches how to proceed for the next two quarters, leaving the fourth quarter as a separate game away from his weekly strategy and planning. To close out any game, Belichick knows the final moments deserve a specific strategy, entirely independent of the initial game plan. This strategy must rely entirely on how the game has actually been played to this point.
When Belichick looks disgusted at this reporter, it’s largely because as the leader, his job is to win games — and in winning, there must be adjustments, revisions to planning and great preparation. The writer does not understand or even comprehend what unfolds during the game.
If he did, he would know that style is unimportant. Having a plan for adjusting the strategy is what matters most.