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Author Information

Founder and Owner of the Flexbone Association. Since 2007 we have provided the tools necessary for teams to succeed running the Flexbone Association System. Over the last ten years over 200 teams have been instructed by the Flexbone Association. I've consulted with teams and or run camps everywhere from Belfair, WA to Key West, FL. The Flexbone Association strives daily to help coaches succeed with this time tested offense, I have been a football coach for 16 seasons, currently at Harrison High School in Kennesaw, GA I played at St. Mary's Springs High School in Fond du Lac, WI under legendary head coach Bob Hyland. I've been fortunate to be part of five state championship teams (1997,1998,2002,2011,2012). In 2011-2012 St. Mary's Springs led the state of Wisconsin in scoring and set consecutive school records for points scored, Psalm 27

How Google Can Help You

I am often asked, “why don’t you write as much in the off-season”. Well the answer is fairly simple. The prime time to stimulate an audience is during the actual football season or immediately before or after (August to February really). Very few coaches burn the candle at both ends 12-months a year, thus readership of any football material, not just this site wanes in the late spring and summer and ticks back up again come August when teams across the country are getting ready for their seasons. The same holds true for me; and as a family man, they require my time as well. I just returned from a vacation to the Black Hills in South Dakota and celebrated my 10 year wedding anniversary with my wife. My son has a baseball tournament that starts tomorrow, so like you I have plenty of things occupying my time outside of football season. Secondly I’ve put hours upon hours of work into the Flexbone Association Academy this off-season, of which I am still putting the finishing touches on; and like I’ve said before, if I am going to put something on this site, it’s going to be quality. I’m not just going to riffle off a few sentences to try to keep you entertained. You are smarter than that. 

If you are a reader of this site you know I often write about topics that are not specifically X and O related, but I often times tie what I read into my career as a football coach and proponent of the Flexbone Offense. I’ve done it in the past with “The Art of War” which I will continue throughout the next few years until it’s done; I’ve looked at the game of chess and examined a few of its cognitive traits and their applications. I am avid reader, and read probably more than I realize, much of which is from my Kindle and or Phone. I came across an article that hit me for its applications to leadership, football and the Flexbone, and also reinforced something I’ve written about in the past. 

How does Google identify leaders? You would assume one of the most powerful and successful companies in the world, with nearly unlimited resources at it’s disposal would have mastered something like the simple art of hiring employees right?

Years ago, we did a study to determine whether anyone at Google is particularly good at hiring. We looked at tens of thousands of interviews, and everyone who had done the interviews and what they scored the candidate, and how that person ultimately performed in their job. We found zero relationship. It’s a complete random mess, except for one guy who was highly predictive because he only interviewed people for a very specialized area, where he happened to be the world’s leading expert.

After all their research they found one guy who was good at hiring, of all their managers? How can this be; and if it’s so what trait was he looking for?

We found that, for leaders, it’s important that people know you are consistent and fair in how you think about making decisions and that there’s an element of predictability. If a leader is consistent, people on their teams experience tremendous freedom, because then they know that within certain parameters, they can do whatever they want. If your manager is all over the place, you’re never going to know what you can do, and you’re going to experience it as very restrictive.

The one trait that this great hiring manager they had looked for was consistency. He sought and hired people that were predictable. In other words, they are looking for people who can be in a term I’ve used before in application to this offense, is they wanted systematic people. The Flexbone Offense is a system, it is predictable and it is consistent, and so are the teams that employ it. An added bonus of consistency is:

In other words, when managers are predictable, they remove a roadblock from employees’ path — themselves. Managers have their own tendency to meddle, criticize, and second-guess. Without that roadblock, employees don’t have to worry about whether their manager will try to jump in and “save the day” with some new idea. Instead, they have the space necessary to do an amazing job.

On the flip side, “[i]f your manager is all over the place, you’re never going to know what you can do, and you’re going to experience it as very restrictive.”

If you run a system, your assistant coaches and importantly your players know what to expect. They know you wont break out the Wing-T in week four, and get in the shotgun and panic in week six. Consistency leads to trust and results. What other benefit can this systematic approach to offensive football provide for you?

Easy, it’s Autonomy:

The freedom that a consistent leader provides is a powerful force because having autonomy over one’s work is one of the most potent motivators of personal productivity.

In 2004, psychologists, Edward Deci and Richard Ryan conducted a study of hundreds of associates at an investment bank on their job satisfaction. They found that the highest job satisfaction ratings came from employees whose bosses offered “autonomy support” — that is, acknowledgment, encouragement, and structure around getting work done as the employee determines, not the manager.

The kicker is that Deci and Ryan also discovered that the employees with autonomy were not only the happiest, they were also the ones with the highest job performance.

Great leadership is never about being a dramatic hero. It’s just not about you. Instead it’s about providing support to your team by being willing to be seen as boring and predictable.

Provide information they need, work from their perspective, cultivate their performance by offering them the oxygen to succeed. Then they’ll have the breathing room and self-determination to shine.

So you want to succeed at being a football coach? Start with being consistent, be predictable, be systematic, gain the autonomy we all seek over our careers. 

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