Lessons from Superbowl 2017

What a game!  As a New Englander, I didn’t want to pass on this opportunity to tackle a Superbowl-themed post and see if I could touch down on some relevant lessons.


Over the years, I’ve watched the Patriots pull of come-from-behind wins many times.  While I was feeling a little down at the half, part of me hoped it was part of their strategy. Tire out the Atlanta defense and then surge past.

But alas, no.

It was exactly the way we didn’t plan it. — Tom Brady

Yet, they seemed calm. Focused. Prepared.  And that’s because they were.

Years ago, I remember hearing about how they would drill on plays that would help them win in the clutch.  Your team can drill, too.

  • Participate in an eLearning challenge or create your own
  •  Have your team use a new tool or technique on an upcoming project or at a team “lunch and learn” (See suggestions of L&D trends from TalentLMS and Karl Kapp)
  • Take chances by saying “yes” to a project outside your comfort zone

It’s a team sport

 It’s all about these players. We’ve got great players. — Bill Belichick

As a training manager, I once received a very challenging request. The C-suite wanted to transform their entire classroom training program into 2-day courses. This meant taking one foundation-level course and bundling it with 6 different advanced courses. We were given only 3 months to complete the merging, editing, testing, and printing of the materials and retraining of instructors.

It was a huge challenge, but it was important, and I thought my team could do it.  And they did! Later at a company meeting, I was singled out and given an award for the project. I didn’t think this was right. I had led my team, but it was a team effort. So, I use the award to take the team out to lunch and celebrate the victory together.


If an error in the material risks health, or safety, or some other serious harm, then hold off on delivery until your material passes quality standards.

Otherwise, if you’re at your deadline… publish. Put it out there.  You’ll get valuable user feedback.

Then you can go back and fix the problems you already knew about…and the ones you didn’t find until after you published.

By the time the Boston Globe reached its early edition deadline on Sunday, it really didn’t look like the Patriots had much of a chance at beating the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51. The Globe’s cover reflected that and essentially declared the game over. — Andrew Joseph, USA Today


For more football motivation, check out Management Secrets of the New England Patriots available through Barnes & Noble.  I’ve just started reading volume 2 about high performing teams.  It’s a fun read, and full of transferable advice.



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