Blogs & Comment

CEO Soapbox: Lessons from the NFL

With prominent figures like Buffet and Schultz publicizing call to actions, you should have your say, too.


In my previous post I outlined the details of this platform, but to recap: send me your calls to action for the business community and I’ll relay them here. This blog is a place to inspire your colleagues and strengthen corporate Canada. Use it.

Last week we heard from Cybele Negris, the president of Inc., about fixing woeful customer service. Today, we hear from Hunter Tura, CEO of design studio Bruce Mau Design, about a return-to-basics strategy he learned from Bill Belichick, coach of the New England Patriots. (A two-part documentary about Belichick’s life is airing Sept. 15 on the NFL network. He is the only head coach in NFL history to win three Super Bowl championships in a four-year span.) Belichick is Tura’s managerial hero because he follows four tenants that hang on a sign above the player entrance to the Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts, the foundation behind the much-lauded “Patriot Way“. Tura refers to the philosophy as the “University of Belichick,” and encourages your company to enroll. Hear his plea:

“I think there have been so many ‘of the moment’ theories about how businesses can connect more directly with their customers, be more purpose-driven, figure out some differentiating strategic position, or whatever. Simplicity, clarity and directness should be the order of the day. Belichick has a very simple set of credos for his players that might be the starting point for how businesses re-think their organization: 

  • Do your job 
  • Put the team first
  • Be attentive
  • Work hard

“The Belichick model resonates with me for two reasons: the proof is in its sustained success (10 years in Belichick’s case), which is rare in any business venture, but almost unheard of in the NFL. Also, because I don’t have classic ‘business’ training, but rather a background in design, I am constantly asking for the clearest and highly edited way to present an idea. It’s amazing when you adhere to these simple principles how businesses can become less ego-driven and simultaneously more efficient, transparent and profitable.”

What’s your cri de coeur? Reach me at: