Leadership Fail: Lessons From The Worst Super Bowl Play Ever - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Comments
Leadership Fail: Lessons From The Worst Super Bowl Play Ever
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
Joe Stanganelli
100%
0%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
2/3/2015 | 3:00:37 AM
Overthinking the clock
I was under the impression -- especially given this interesting analysis and take from the Washington Post on the matter: www.washingtonpost.com/news/sports/wp/2015/02/02/bill-belichick-made-a-sneaky-smart-decision-that-might-have-contributed-to-fateful-play-call-by-pete-carroll/ -- that the Seahawks were more concerned with preserving the time for themselves than they were worried about what the Patriots might do with those leftover seconds, and that Belichick's decision to not call a timeout may have caused Carroll and his crew to hurriedly overthink the issue of the ticking clock.
David Wagner
50%
50%
David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
2/3/2015 | 5:07:37 PM
Re: Overthinking the clock
@Joe- I disagree with the analysis. First, 20 seconds is plenty of time to run two running plays in the NFL. It is consideed standard calculus that a team wastes about 11 seconds lining up for a pass after a completeion down field. That includes running down and lining up. There's no running down to line up on a run play. Even if the run takes a long time, say 6 or 7 seconds, I just don't believe they would have problems lining up and unning on 4th down in 13 seconds on the one yard line. 

Second, Belichick was running the same calculus. He didn't call time out simply because he knew how many plays he had and how long plays took. He expected them to score at the 24 second mark or so and he'd have the time to run three plays before kicking the FG. Bringing back all that clock by calling a time out on defense doesn't make sense because it just gets eaten by the offense anyway.

at any rate, If the Seahawks were concerned about time at all with 26 seconds and three plays they failed to focus on the proper goal. The goal is moving the ball 1 yard.
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
2/5/2015 | 7:08:08 PM
Re: Overthinking the clock
Good points, Dave.

> at any rate, If the Seahawks were concerned about time at all with 26 seconds and three plays they failed to focus on the proper goal. The goal is moving the ball 1 yard.

Sometimes there's just no accounting for very bad decisions.  It reminds me of when I've made terrible mistakes at the bridge table.  I remember a confused, agitated partner asking me after a flawed auction, "What kind of bid was two diamonds?"  Without hesitation, I exasperatedly replied, "A wrong one."
David Wagner
50%
50%
David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
2/5/2015 | 8:14:42 PM
Re: Overthinking the clock
@Joe- And that's why you still have a partnership. A good lesson in leadership form the bridge table. As someone who has never screwed the bidding and has been saddled with partners who always do, I can't relate. :)
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
2/7/2015 | 12:34:54 AM
Re: Overthinking the clock
@Dave: Actually, I haven't played with that partner in months!  ;)

I was thinking about writing a piece about management lessons from bridge...but really one would be better served by reading Victor Mollo's books.
David Wagner
50%
50%
David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
2/3/2015 | 5:10:25 PM
Re: Leadership: Where the rubber meets the road.....
@Technocrati- You're welcome. Sadly, I don't see many leaders doing this. Most of the time they expect it of their employees without modeling it in themselves. 
David Wagner
50%
50%
David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
2/3/2015 | 5:13:57 PM
Re: The football side
@TerryB- He was already taking some flack from fellow players. Richard Sherman especially. 

On the football side, I don't really have that much problem passing if he tried something out of the teeth of the defense. But he's looking at a jumbo package with guys stacked up in the mddle. Then he throws the ball into the middle. He threw into the strength of the defense. If he throws outside, he's throwing away from the play call. 

You're right that sports is always about second guessing. But business and sports is about risk-reward analysis. The reward (a Super Bowl) is huge. The risk of the throw is higher than the risk of the run. Given the size of the reward, good business is to look for a lower risk play.
David Wagner
50%
50%
David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
2/3/2015 | 5:49:23 PM
Re: Leadership: Where the rubber meets the road.....
@Technocrati- The only thing I know about Asian leadership is from comic books and movies. Do you still have to offer to kill yourself if you screw up there? :)

No seriously, clearly they don't. One reason why I think Japanese leadership tends to be better is the idea of Kaizen. If you have a philosphy around always improving, you can always admit mistakes.
David Wagner
50%
50%
David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
2/3/2015 | 5:49:41 PM
Re: Leadership: Where the rubber meets the road.....
@Technocrati- The only thing I know about Asian leadership is from comic books and movies. Do you still have to offer to kill yourself if you screw up there? :)

No seriously, clearly they don't. One reason why I think Japanese leadership tends to be better is the idea of Kaizen. If you have a philosphy around always improving, you can always admit mistakes.
Charlie Babcock
50%
50%
Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
2/3/2015 | 5:53:49 PM
Gray area: a football play equals leadership
Pictures of the play show the Seahawks receiver being knocked out of the position from which he would have caught the ball. If the Patriots defender had collided with him a quarter of a second sooner, wouldn't it have been necessary to call pass interference? Did the defender time it that well or did he just get lucky? And if the play had gone the other way, what lessons would we be drawing from it? Drawing leadership lsssons from one football play is a desperate undertaking. Football is a game and maybe we should leave it at that. As someone who has watched Pete Carroll's teams make a lot of good decisions versus the San Francisco 49ers, I'm not prepared to judge him on the basis of that play. 
David Wagner
50%
50%
David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
2/3/2015 | 5:57:57 PM
Re: Gray area: a football play equals leadership
@Charlie- Well, you can hit a receiver within 5 yard of the line of scrimmage so the defender was fine.

And it isn't really about drawing lessons from a play. It is about how humans handle failure. Handling failure is one of the most important and fundamental parts of being a human being. We need to take lessons in how others handle it.
David Wagner
50%
50%
David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
2/3/2015 | 6:26:14 PM
Re: Leadership: Where the rubber meets the road.....
@Technocrati- When I worked for Sloan Management Review in a previous life, I worked with several management faculty who proudly displayed their belts from their Six Sigma training. I found the whole concept of belts to be hilarious for management. But in the process, it got me into learning about all sorts of various management philosophies. While I think some aspects of Japanese managment don't translate, Kaizen is one I think we should all think about more. 


2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
This new report from InformationWeek explores what we've learned over the past year, critical trends around ITOps and SecOps, and where leaders are focusing their time and efforts to support a growing digital economy. Download it today!
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

Commentary
Why IT Leaders Should Make Cloud Training a Top Priority
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author,  4/14/2021
Slideshows
10 Things Your Artificial Intelligence Initiative Needs to Succeed
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/20/2021
Commentary
Lessons I've Learned From My Career in Technology
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  5/4/2021
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll