Dick Vermeil’s 7 Leadership Principles
1. MAKE SURE PEOPLE KNOW YOU CARE ABOUT THEM
• To win over people you must first win over their hearts.
• People care about those who care about them.
• Regardless of what uniform they wear, people are people first, so treat them like it.
• Psychological paycheck: when a person feels valued and needed, they maintain a passion to succeed over a longer period of time.
2. BE A GOOD EXAMPLE
• The most important influence in a person’s life is another person worthy of emulation.
• When your actions speak for themselves, everyone listens.
• Carry an attitude of hope and motivation every time you walk through the door.
• Be a living picture of what you want your people to be; if you want them to hang tough through adversity, show them you are hanging tough.
• People gain confidence when they see and feel it in their leaders.
• There is a difference between impressing people and impacting people.
• Live your message.
3. CREATE AN ATMOSPHERE THAT PEOPLE ENJOY WORKING IN
• The quality of a person’s attitude is in direct proportion to the quality of the atmosphere you create for them.
• Approach everyone consistently with an optimistic and positive attitude.
• Three ingredients for success: recognition, appreciation, praise.
• Being appreciated is a person’s greatest emotional aid; it enhances confidence and self-esteem, two weapons that allowed Kurt Warner to go from stocking grocery shelves to becoming a Super Bowl MVP and Champion.
• Survivor mentality: “Your success is not determined by the games you win; it is determined by how you handle the losses.”- Hall of Fame basketball coach John Wooden.
• Believe in your people and they will believe in you and themselves.
• Reward winners and motivate losers.
4. DEFINE, DELEGATE, THEN LEAD
• Define your mission so that your people know what you’re all working for.
• Sell your vision with passion.
• Spirit is an emotional muscle that can and must be worked out.
• True leadership is shared leadership.
• Focus on strengths of your talents, delegate to others based on their strengths and talents.
• Empower people and let them know that they are making a contribution to winning.
• Don’t rely on good fortune; rely on good people.
• People don’t always remember what you said or did, but they will ALWAYS remember how you made them FEEL.
• Lead with love.
5. BRING ENERGY TO THE WORKPLACE
• Both emotional and physical energy.
• High-energy leaders harness the collective energy of their people.
• Don’t fear pushing your people beyond their comfort zone; make them leave behind something they are good at for something they might be able to do better.
• Energy is contagious; if you manage it right you can transfer it to others.
• It is a lot easier to go from failure to success by working hard and working together than it is by making excuses or procrastinating.
6. BUILD RELATIONSHIPS AS YOU IMPLEMENT YOUR PROCESS, VISION AND VALUES
• You cannot lead someone if they do not trust you.
• Give more than you expect in return.
• Relationship are constantly being rebuilt; is an ongoing process.
• The only thing more infections than a good attitude is a bad one; change or eliminate bad attitudes and reward good ones.
• A good player with a great attitude will consistently perform better than a great player with a bad attitude.
• Get your people working as a team because talent alone will not get it done; solid relationships can be the difference maker.
• The mutual trust and respect developed through proper relationship-building will not allow second-guessers enough credibility to undermine what you are trying to do in your organization.
• Build trust by sharing experiences outside of the work place.
• People are impelled to return to you the feelings you create in them.
• “Make them better on the field, make them happy off the field.”
7. ESTABLISH CREDIBILITY BY BEING SINCERE, BELIEVABLE, AND TRUSTWORTHY
• Credibility takes a long time to earn.
• If you can’t earn it, you can’t use it.
• Only way to earn it is by being sincere.
• Build your operation on integrity.
• If you have integrity, nothing else matters; if you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.
• Never allow greed to overpower you.
• Be supportive in tough times; great leaders are a never-ending source of inspiration.
• Be humble; those who travel the high road of humility are never troubled by heavy traffic.
• Take the blame and give the credit to others.
• Care about your people more than you care about how they perform.
• Invest in your future by committing fully to the constructive use of the present.
• You can only understand the options for your future by being involved in creating them daily.