Leadership lessons from Coach Belichick

Building a winning team involves far more than just gathering the most talented individuals. Read about in my new article in Advisor Perspectives.


A high-performance team, by definition, is a winning team. A winning team is essential for an advisory practice to thrive as a competitive, multi-generational firm independent of its founder. But building and maintaining a high-performance team involves more than assembling the most talented individuals.

Bill Belichick, the head coach of New England Patriots, is not a beloved figure to football enthusiasts of the other 31 NFL teams. Far from it. But it’s hard to argue with the Patriots’ success year after year. A team can’t be lucky and accomplish the level of their success with such consistency.

You might conclude that Belichick is supremely talented in attracting the best football players. But he would beg to differ. In this 2013 speech he said, “everyone in the [NFL] has talent” or they wouldn’t have made it that far. The league’s talent pool is more or less equalized, according to Belichick. So a winning team is about more than just talent and ability. He looks for, “players with passion, guys that really love football” not those who are in it for the money and glory. Belichick also demands “mental toughness” out of his players which, arguably, was the biggest factor in the team’s biggest comeback in Super Bowl history.

To Belichick, the invisible aspects of team building and winning are as much as — or perhaps more important than — the visible aspects like talent, speed, and strength.

Read more in Advisor Perspectives.