There are few meritocracies more demanding than being the head coach of a football champion at either the college or pro level.
Coaches are considered to be outstanding if they coach for thirty years and win one. Some coaches are even considered excellent though they never win one.
Win two, and you are headed to the coaching hall of fame.
So how is it that there are two coaches, one at the college level and one at the pro, who have each won six…and are almost certainly going to win even more? What creates the enormous gap between these two and the next level down?
The two coaches are Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots (pro) and Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide (college). The two are also featured in a new HBO documentary called The Art of Coaching.
It turns out the two have known each other all of their adult lives and have spent time coaching with each other and against each other before arriving at their current destinations. And it seems as if their coaching styles share certain cores, such as a belief that it is their responsibility to teach players what to do, and then all the player has to do is to “do his job.”
During practices and during games, the documentary catches these two constantly telling (and yelling!) at players to “Do your job!” It’s shorthand for just executing what you have learned all your life and practiced repeatedly over the past weeks and months.
In one scene, Saban’s Alabama team has only ten seconds left against an inferior opponent. They lead by 55 points. But Saban spots one of his players slightly out of position on the field. He shouts at him. Then screams at him. Then, with veins popping out of his forehead and literally shaking, he calls a timeout (with ten seconds left and a 55 point lead!) just to bring the player over to the sideline to get in his face and scream, “Do you job!”
But What is Your Job?
You probably know where this is going—I’m going to suggest that you put a Post-it-Note on your computer (as I have) that says, “Do your job!”
But someone is inevitably going to ask, “What is my job?” Or say, “Well, I just have so many jobs…”
To which I say, No…you only have two jobs. I’ll share those with you in my next post.