In my very first post here on businessgametime.com nearly two years ago, I wrote about New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (the topic back then was risk taking and entrepreneurial thinking). Later, when writing about personal branding, I used the example of wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. Now these two are united as the Patriots signed Ochocinco for the upcoming season.
They may seem like an unlikely combination: A coach known for demanding disciplined behavior and a flamboyant player who has nearly 2.5 million Twitter followers and a lot of experience in being fined by the NFL.
Yet there’s something that gives us the feeling it might work out: Both are extremely hard working and focused on success. And both do it their way. Belichick’s record as a coach speaks for itself, and so do Ochocincos tweets at 5 a.m. when he’s getting ready for long training session – even during the lockout period.
But Chad is not the only difficult customer for Belichick: They also hired Albert Haynesworth, who was suspended by his former team, the Washington Redskins, over conflicts with the coaching staff.
Bill Belichick believes that he will be able to find the right way of approaching the two and getting them to produce, just like he successfully did with Randy Moss and Corey Dillon.
Moss, then known for his egoistic behavior, was traded for a fourth-round draft pick, but in the three full years he spent with the Patriots, he had a stellar 3.765 receiving yards.
Dillon was traded for a second-round draft pick prior to the 2004 season in which he rushed for 1.635 yards – plus 292 in postseason – which ended with the Patriots winning the Super Bowl.
Now Haynesworth (traded for a fifth round draft pick) and Ochocinco (traded for a fifth and a sixth round draft pick). Will Belichick have success again? Most probably.
There’s just one coach who doesn’t seem to be afraid of the Patriots: New York Jets’ Rex Ryan, who knocked the Patriots out of the playoffs last season. His reaction to the Patriots trades: “I think we have to find somebody out there to beat New England besides us.”
The confidence might come from the fact tat Ryan also hired a star wide receiver last weekend: Plaxico Burress. Burress just returned from 20 months in prison which he spent for criminal possession of a handgun after shooting himself in the foot in a nightclub. He came as a free agent after the Giants released him from his contract in 2009.
So here’s my 4th short summer thought:
Managing the good is rather easy. You hire them at market value and they perform consistently as you expect it from them.
Managing the outstanding is way more difficult. It takes outstanding managers like Belichick or Ryan. Both rather special characters themselves. However, when you succeed you get outstanding performance at a bargain price, as outstanding performers are desperate to find a place where they are given an opportunity. A place where they are understood. A place where they are challenged.
At this place, great things will happen. Be that in Foxborough, New York or right at where you are.