Driving back from Nashville yesterday I listened to sports talk radio. The subject was the same I have been hearing for weeks. Everyone wants to talk about what’s wrong with the Titans. Everyone has his or her own theory. As I said in a previous post, (Read it HERE) I am a not an avid sports fan. I love sports, I love watching sports, but I don’t memorize player’s names or keep up with many statistics, I just enjoy sports.
I do keep up with leadership however, and as I said in my previous post, I think the main issue for the Titans now is a leadership problem. When leadership is uncertain or unsettled, it will impact the entire team. That’s an organizational leadership principle, and it’s true because it deals with people, which mean you can see the principle at work in business, in churches, and on professional football teams. (This post could have been titled “Suggestions for leadership when your team is in trouble”, which would have worked for many organizations…)
So, as one who does understand the subject of organizational leadership, here are 5 leadership suggestions I offer the Tennessee Titans leadership:
Get united at the top – Owner Bud and Coach Jeff need to get on the same page again. Period. The team will be unsettled as long as they are unsettled. There have been times before when the talk was whether Jeff could keep his job, and some think that time is here again (read THIS), but Bud Adams and Jeff Fisher have mostly had a great relationship. They need to close the door, talk (or yell) it out, then decide to be united (or not) going forward.
Decide who’s in charge - If Coach Fisher is continue as coach, he must have freedom to run the team as he thinks best. The team needs to know he is the one making the calls. An owner can and will always have input, but on the playing field the leader on the sidelines needs control…and the team needs to know it. That includes what to do with key players under huge contracts.
Remember the Titans – The team needs to remember who they are as a team. They’ve been known for comeback victories. They’ve had a history of the unexpected come from behind wins. Remind the team. Energize the key player leaders on the team. Let it spread through the team and change team morale and motivation.
Get back to basics - The Titans know how to win games. They know how to run the ball strong and make the big defensive plays. Just do what the team does best.
Play ball - At some point, the team and the coaches have to ignore all the critics and play ball. That may mean they need to quit doing interviews, quit reading the sports page, or quit talking internally about what’s wrong and focus on the winning games. Win a few games and the talk shows will find a new subject.
That’s my suggestions. Call me naive if you want since I’m mostly a quiet observer in the field of sports, but I think these steps would help in any organizational sense, including football.
What do you think? What would you do now if you were in leadership with the Tennessee Titans…or an organization in trouble?