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Tony Romo Demonstrates Leadership – The Essence of Meritocracy

Written by:  Tim Saumier, CEO

With all that has been happening over the past month relative to politics I thought would share something that struck me this week as a proper approach to dealing with a difficult situation. Hard to believe I’m talking about Tony Romo – For those of you that do not follow football – he is or was the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys for the past decade. He took the helm from Drew Bledsoe (if you remember from our last write up he was the QB displaced by Tom Brady in New England). Tony Romo is a guy who has been plagued with injuriesromo2 over his career and seemed to be the leader of a team that always fell short of their expectations. Well, earlier this year, Tony Romo was injured again and they had to turn to rookie QB Dak Prescott who was unproven. Fast forward to today and Dak has led the team to 9 wins & 1 loss while Tony Romo has been healing. He has brought leadership and hope to this organization. For the past 6 weeks the media has been trying to drive a wedge into the Cowboys organization by questioning who would be the QB when Tony Romo came back.

Tony Romo addressed it in a 6 minute press conference this week – It’s worth the WATCH

I’ve never been a fan but I have a new found respect for Tony Romo who demonstrated true leadership, what it means to be humble, and sharing with people what I believe is a true failure in our society today. He shared that professional football is a meritocracy. What is meritocracy – According to Wikipedia: “it is a political philosophy holding that power should be vested in individuals almost exclusively based on ability and talent.romo3 Advancement in such a system is based on performance measured through examination and/or demonstrated achievement in the field where it is implemented.” He goes on to say that you have to earn it each and every week in the NFL.

My question is, “What if we all took that approach and attitude in life?”

Yes we should be recognized for what we did yesterday but we should never expect to be given something for nothing. We have to come out each day and bring the best attitude & effort we can and EARN what we want. Instead, over the last decade our society seems to be moving steadily toward one where people expect something for nothing. In a sense, welfare. Don’t get me wrong, I believe there are people that need to be helped and we are called to help them but we need to not only give to them but to walk with them and help them get on their own feet. There will always be people that will need assistance (some short-term & some long-term) and it is our responsibility to care for them. The people I’m talking about are the ones that think the world/their family/society/the government/their employer owes them something. You are not owed anything except the wonderful opportunity to get out of bed each day and make a choice on what you will do with your day.

So I end this month’s write-up with a tip of the hat to Mr. Romo. romo4Thank you for taking time to share this with everyone.

This is just one man’s opinion and I’d appreciate your thoughts.

PS – it’s great time of year to stop, reflect and remember to be thankful. While things may seem insurmountable at times, be thankful for the small things. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

You can find me on LinkedIn and at Twitter you can find me at @timsaumierTI.  Also, you can learn more about TYGES at www.TYGES.com, on Twitter @TYGESInt, or here on our blog.

Our mission is simple:

We’re here to make good things happen to other people.

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Clarity & the New England Patriots – what do they have in common?

Written by:  Tim Saumier, CEO

Let me start this conversation by saying I’m not a Patriots fan. In fact, they are considered the enemy to my lowly Miami Dolphins who have brought nothing but disappointment for two decades running. While the Patriots may be the enemy I have an enormous amount of respect for the leadership and their process. patriots5Yes, they’ve been criticized over the years for filming others practices, deflating footballs, etc. but the reality is their leadership has built a culture of excellence for two decades running. I remember when Drew Bledsoe went down in the second game in 2001 with an injury. My first thought was ouch – my second thought was we may have a shot with Bledsoe gone because they are putting in this unknown quarterback drafted in the 6th round from Michigan named Tom Brady. Even after starting the year 0-2, this no-name steps up and carries them to the Super Bowl Championship and the end of the Drew Bledsoe era.

Earlier this year, Brady was suspended for the first four games of the regular season, up steps the #2 quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (who?) and they win their first two games. He gets injured in game two and up steps the #3 quarterback Jacoby Brissett (who?) and they go 1 – 1 with him. Tom Brady comes back in game 5 and wins. Now they are 5-1 and arguably one of the strongest teams in the NFL.

So what is it they have that allows them to keep performing at a high level regardless of injuries, distractions (think Aaron Hernandez), etc.? 

The conversation above is centered around quarterbacks but reality is they’ve had injuries and distractions across the board but for some reason they keep winning. The Pats have 124 wins over the past decade (#1 in the NFL and 20 more than the second team – Indianapolis). It starts with Leadership – Robert Kraft at the helm of the Patriots and his head coach Bill Belichick who joined the Pats in 2000. patriots3These two gentlemen are the clear leaders (not the players). They have established a culture of team first and have put a system in place where average players perform way above their individual capability. Tom Brady is a great quarterback because he plays within the New England Patriots system. Could he play elsewhere? Yes he could but the question is whether he would be as effective. I highly doubt it.

So what is it they have? 1) Clear leadership – Kraft & Belichick 2) Clear Systems & Processes 3) Clear Culture – you join the patriots they don’t join you 4) Clear role definition – everyone has a role to play. Yes they have talent but it’s the talent that fits their culture & their schemes – not the other way around. Corporations talk about talent like it’s the magic recipe to fixing everything. patriots4It doesn’t hurt to have talent on the team but without Clarity of Leadership, Systems, Processes, Culture, & Role Definition, it is pretty hard to be win as a team.

I’d appreciate your thoughts even if you don’t like football.

You can find me on LinkedIn and at Twitter you can find me at @timsaumierTI.  Also, you can learn more about TYGES at www.TYGES.com, on Twitter @TYGESInt, or here on our blog.

Our mission is simple:

We’re here to make good things happen to other people.

cropped-hr_tyges_stack2.jpg