How Being Different Means Greater Success

When you hear about leaders who "think different" and how it makes a huge, positive impact in their success, are you skeptical? Is there part of you that wants proof?  I do.

While most anecdotal stories usually ring true to me,  I crave a clear link between cause and effect.  Well, the video below shows how one coach's decision to be different (he never punts the ball!) isn't an effort to be unique for the sake of uniqueness, but to improve his team's performance.

Whether you enjoy football or not, this video applies to ANY work environment.

There are probably twenty lessons you could pull from this story, but four things stuck with me.

1. Listen to outside input.

Thinking differently comes from outside input.  Coach Kelley listened to the data from the Harvard professor.  He read books which encouraged creative problem solving.  How well do you cultivate the contrarian perspective?

2. Ask "why" relentlessly.

Nothing was off-limits for this coaching team.  Different starts with asking,"why" and then asking it again. How often do you question why your organization is behaving a particular way?

3. Cast a vision with the team.

The kids love this brand of football not because it's a gimmick, but because their performance is better.  Teams know when they are being duped and whether or not you have the courage of your convictions.  As the leader, you have to have buy-in to "different" as a pathway to "better" and that means reinforcing the vision consistently.

Does your team know where you're heading?

4. Execute the plan.

However, what's most surprising to me is that Coach Kelley DID something with the information he learned, and he executed the plan at the risk of ridicule and mockery.  It's remarkable.

I'm inspired.  I hope you are as well.