I got an interesting question today – “Why do you think the Denver Broncos are 5-0?” The reason I was asked this was because my preseason prediction was that they would have the worst record in the NFL and that the Seattle Seahawks, who own their 2010 first round pick, would have the first pick in the draft. After giving it some thought, here is what I think all leaders can learn from their fast start.
1. The Law of the Inner Circle. Taught by John Maxwell in his book 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and states that those closest to you determine your level of success. The addition of Mike Nolan as the Defensive Coordinator cannot be understated. The best indicator of future performance is past performance and his work with teams like the Baltimore Ravens speaks for itself.
2. The Strength of the Wolf is in the Pack. The combined talents of 53 players is more valuable than 1 player, in this case Jay Cutler.
3. Leadership is in Alignment. Though Jay Cutler did not buy into Josh McDaniels’ plan, it certainly appears the rest of the team did. When there is a linear message from Executive Management to Head Coach to coaching staff to the team leaders, the rest of the team will follow. It is important to know that in church environments, when the pastor, staff, and key leaders lead in alignment, the congregation will follow.
4. Talent Matters. Denver has quietly assembled a solid defense and arguably the finest offensive line in football. An organization cannot go to the next level without an increase in talent.
5. Consistency Matters. Kyle Orton does not make many mistakes. In the world of flash and larger than life personalities that we live in, we often forget the value of consistant performance and the compounding effect it has in the area of excellence.
As I reflect on the Broncos unexpected fast start, these are the key learnings that leaders from any organization can take away.