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Become A Leader Like Don Shula

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Some of the greatest coaches in the world come out of the NFL. Today, we’ll take a look at the legacy that Don Shula left behind!

Don Shula passed away at the age of 90. He was a Head Coach in the NFL for 33 seasons: seven with the Baltimore Colts and 26 with the Miami Dolphins. Don Shula’s 1972 Miami Dolphins are the only NFL team to go through the regular season and the post-season undefeated. 14-0 regular season: 3-0 post-season – including a Super Bowl win over the Washington Redskins. The Dolphins also won the Super Bowl the following season. Don Shula was named NFL Coach of the Year four times. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997.

Don Shula was a tough guy, a good man, and a superb coach. Shula became the youngest Head Coach in NFL History when he got the Baltimore Colts job in 1963. He was 33. Shula was there for seven seasons during which time the Colts performed very well during the regular season. However, two major defeats in the postseason left Shula, the Colts and their fans very disappointed. In 1964, the Colts were heavy favorites to defeat the Cleveland Browns in the NFL Championship Game. The Browns won 27-0. Four years later, Shula and the Colts were heavily favored to beat the New York Jets in the Super Bowl and the Jets stunned The Colts and all of football with a 16-7 victory.

Don Shula

© Flickr user MiamiFilmFestival.

In Miami, it was a different story. After a Super Bowl loss to the Dallas Cowboys, the Dolphins won consecutive Super Bowls, and no longer was Shula criticized for a lack of postseason success. A coach has to have the players to be successful. Shula had the players but with his great organizational skills, discipline, and knowledge he helped make his teams great! Don Shula, one of the greatest coaches in the History of Professional Sports! Shula truly was a force to be reckoned with, especially in the 1908s with Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino. Did you know that many credit Shula with modernizing the game? The more entertaining aspects of football came thanks to his efforts!

Shula is credited with helping modernize the game. In 1978, as head of the NFL’s Competition Committee, Shula inspired several rule changes that helped make it easier for offenses to have success in the passing game. The result was a higher-scoring, more-entertaining brand of football that helped pro football replace baseball as America’s No. 1 pastime heading into the 1980s.

One of the most important aspects of being a great leader like Shula was is having a vision for your team. Delegation is a great way to manage your time but developing goals and inspiring your team can never be delegated. Mark Brown talked about this in a post for AccelaWork where he discussed how you can become the leader that your team needs.

    1. Focus on the majority. The simple method is just to ignore the person that is disrupting the group. If you can move forward with the majority of the group, then you can gain momentum.
    2. Address the issue with the person separate from the group. Confronting the rebel in front of the group will only justify their message. So pull them to the side and try to resolve the issue discreetly.
    3. Create wins to show the group the progress. People want to be on the winning side. Get some small wins, and you will begin to overcome any opposition.

Using tips like these can help take your leadership skills to the next level. Become a legend like Don Shula when it comes to leading!

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Howard Kellman

Howard Kellman

Howard Kellman is the longtime radio and television “voice” of the Indianapolis Indians and a professional speaker. When he’s not broadcasting, he travels around the country inspiring audiences.
Howard Kellman

@howardkellman

Play-by-play broadcaster for the Indianapolis Indians Professional Speaker 2009 inductee Indiana Sportscasters Hall of Fame
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