Fox Sports’ Joe Klatt recently made an interesting observation. He said and I’m paraphrasing, “We are wasting Nick Saban on coaching. He needs to be doing something like running for president.” What Joe was saying is Nick’s philosophy of leadership, organizational capabilities, personnel development, commitment to excellence, and legendary process are at a historic level and applicable to any field of endeavor.
In two recent ESPN’s College Gameday interviews, Coach Saban demonstrated his leadership greatness. The following are 8 leadership quotes and lessons from the 5-time national championship coach I gleaned from those conversations:
ESPN College Gameday October 22nd
- Coach Saban Instills Confidence In His Players – Regarding freshman quarterback Jalen Hurst, Saban said, “He won the team early on because the team had a lot of confidence in his ability.”
- Coach Saban Places A High Value On Consistency And Fundamentals – He said, “Eddie (Jackson) got to be the punt returner because he was the most consistent guy catching the ball.”
- Coach Saban Pays The Personal Price Needed For Success – Saban added, “Everyday about the same time (I arrive to work) 7:00, 7:15 (AM) and most days except Wednesday and Thursday it’s after 10:00 (PM) when you get home.”
- Coach Saban Never Arrives – Regarding what he does to unwind, Saban said, “Well, really nothing during the season. You have to look at the season it’s almost like climbing a mountain. Not everybody reaches the top. Few people that reach the top can stay on top. But the thing that everybody realizes that’s on top is you got to keep climbing. Those people can never arrive. You got to keep grinding. That’s what we do during the season.”
- Coach Saban Has Built A Team Of Great Leaders Around Him – He said, “We have a very, very good staff…We try to setup an organizational process where everybody knows exactly what we have to do each minute of the week.”
- Coach Saban Places A High Value On Preparation – He concludes, “The way we approach competition – We don’t talk a lot about winning. We talk a lot about what do you have to do to play your best on a consistent basis. That’s what going to benefit you the most as a player. That’s what’s going to benefit the team the most. That’s what we try to get the players to do. Focus on a high standard of consistency in their play and understanding they never arrived. That the season is a grind. It’s a long haul and you have to be prepared and ready to play every week.”
College Gameday November 5th
- Coach Saban Creates Opportunity For Others – Regarding star player Eddie Jackson’s injury, Coach Saban said, “It creates an opportunity for somebody else.”
- “The big thing is not to focus on expectation but what happens on the next play.” This is a HUGE statement by Coach Saban because it provides four lessons. How to manage expectations. What to place appropriate focus on. Living in the moment. Understanding overall success comes from maximizing a series of individual moments.
Coach Saban is simply one of my favorite leaders. Anytime he speaks, I have my notepad ready because he makes me smarter. What is one thing you learned from these quotes which will make you a better leader?
For more leadership insights from Coach Saban, click HERE or on the image to the left for my new ebook The Leadership Of Nick Saban: Timeless Truths From The Incomparable Head Coach Of The Alabama Crimson Tide. Enjoy!