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Bill Parcells on Winning, Leading, and Turning around Teams

Bill Parcells does the talking and we listen.  As we have stated before, Parcells is not the messiah.  He left George Young (and more than a few others) in the lurch, exhibiting a selfishness that is not what makes you a “Good to Great” leader.  But the man is a football expert.  He is a people/player expert.  And that is why you have to strive to get better by listening to what he has to say.

“I’ve had winning teams that I thought were unsuccessful and I’ve had teams with losing records that I thought were pretty successful in terms of fulfilling their potential.”

There is a mouthful in that statement.  We here at UltimateNYG have been underwhelmed by the performance of the Giants the past three years, be it the underachievement of Gilbride (particularly in 2008), the defensive collapse in 2009, the special teams collapse in 2010, the passive schemes of Perry Fewell, the rash of injuries (too many hamstrings in 2009, groins in 2010, general conditioning underachievement) and Tom Coughlin’s teflon from 2007 that we attribute to Steve Spagnuolo.  So when we rail against the “kiss my a**” 10-6 season as a “winning team that was unsuccessful,” you can understand that we see through the prism of how you do vs what you are given. 

Everything is about potential.  The Giants have not been playing up to their potential the past three years, and that is why we have been critical of Tom Coughlin.  What is worse, a 10-6 team that could be competing at a much higher (playoff, title?) level, or a 6-10 team that is rebuilding and overachieves?  Since the former is not reaching their potential, we see it as how well does a team play vs its potential.

“The organizational philosophy is that I’m trying to play for a championship.”

Look folks, 31 teams lose each year.  This blog will say it over and over again until we are BLUE in the face- you play to win titles, and if you are not very good, you play to build to win a title.  Parcells says it is about the jewelry (championship rings) and we agree.

“The time you can be most critical is when you play poorly and you win, because people’s sensitivity level isn’t that high, because they won.”

I will never forget after the 2008 win vs the Steelers, we barely beat the Steelers 21-14 because that terd Gilbride pussyfooted around in the red zone and got outcoached.  We were critical in a win because the game did not have to be that close and because the game was left to chance (how big was it when the punter flubbed the snap and the Giants got a Safety?!).  So your attitude has to be to get better, to point out the problems.  Gilbride’s failings were clearly on full display in the playoff game vs the Eagles, so we are not going to dismiss problems just because of a win.  People like to psychoanalyze us, that we’ll never be happy, that we are a negative blog.  The time to be addressing the Gilbride problem was after that WIN, not when it was too late in the playoff LOSS.  

There are many more colorful comments from Parcells.  He offers many insights into effective leadership.