The Minnesota Gopher Football coach is the Big Ten Coach of the Year. Coach Jerry Kill started being a turn-around specialist at age 26 at Webb City High School in southern Kansas where he took a team that had never won a state championship to winning several state championships … even after he had moved on to coaching a college team.
Some of you know Carol and I are strong believers in Coach Kill and his wife Rebecca, who is a key to his success. We provide pro-bono communication coaching for the team and staff.
After turnarounds at a couple of smaller colleges, Coach Kill is starting his fifth season at the University of Minnesota. Last year Minnesota went to the first New Year’s Day Bowl game since 1962. A recent article in the Minneapolis paper tells the story.
It applies as much to business as to sports:
- Maintain a strong leadership team that sticks together: “No Coach or CEO wins by themselves.”
- Change the positive culture and fan base.
- Believe you can win — always on the attack.
- Unwavering standards, character, and mental toughness.
- Recruiting for commitment: “I don’t want some kid I’ve got to beg to come.”
- Talent Development: We’re not recruiting to get a five-star athlete — we build them.
Coach Kill is a great example of how winning principles in sports apply to business as well. Score keeping is simpler in sports than business, so it is easier to see results. We have developed “The Sport of Business”; a series of 52 weekly videos with many examples of how business leaders can learn important lessons from sports.