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New England Patriots

In: Business and Management

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Assignment 2 – Final Project

1. Please explain the similarities and differences between the framework of the Leadership Challenge (A1) and How NASA Builds TEAMS (A2)? Please use as example the Case Study: New England PATRIOTS: Making the Team. Use your creativity.

Model the way is the first of the five practices of exemplary leadership. In this practice, a leader needs to ensure that their audience understands and believes in something strongly. Leaders are expected to speak on and stand for matters of conscience and value to the organization. In order to do this, a leader needs to Find Their Voice. In other words, the leader needs to discover what they are passionate about. This practice is analogues to the Express Authentic Appreciation behavior in NASA’s 4-D team building methodology. In order to be able to express authentic appreciation towards their audience, a leader needs to be in tune with what drives the members of his audience. Listening to the audience, asking clarifying questions, and expressing expectations can accomplish this. The second subcomponent of model the way is Affirm Shared Values. This subcomponent is vital to the success of any team, group, or organization because as individuals, we each have different motivators, but if we share core values then building quality relationships can be accomplished. Address Shared Values is the 4-D behavior that when practiced aids in building strong and genuine relationships, which is a fundamental element of successful and productive teams.

Both the model the way practice and cultivate behavior address a very fundamental human need which is the need to have a relationship with someone who is credible. Credibility is what Bill Belichick, head football coach for the New England Patriots brought to the franchise when he took over. As a leader, coach Belichick believes that credibility comes from being consistent in how you play and manage the game and building teams of likeminded individuals. In order to understand how the Patriots practice model the way and express authentic appreciation, you need only observe coach Belichick at the onset of training camp. He meets with his staff and players one on one and describes what it is he expects from them each season. He goes on to tell them how he will help them meet and satisfy his expectations. Throughout the season, he continues meeting with staff members and players in order to handout praise and critique performance both on and off the field. In this way, coach Belichick exemplifies the 4th behavior in NASA’s 4-D methodology, Keep All Your Agreements.

Coach Belichick and his staff work hard at ensuring that new additions in personnel fit well into the Patriots environment by, following the 3rd behavior; Appropriately Include Others. While at work, this is accomplished through team meetings, player and coach reviews. During team meetings, players and coaches discuss upcoming game strategy. In player and coach reviews, both team players and coaches critique game and practice footage. When not at work, veteran players of the Patriots franchise continue practicing this behavior by actively socializing with new members of the team. From religious services to community service events, Patriot football players forge unity by working and playing together.

Inspire a shared vision is the second of the five practices of exemplary leadership. In this practice a leader needs to personify the shared values and teach others to model the values. Tom Brady, QB1 for the Patriots personifies shared values by taking part in both the offensive and defensive group meetings, listening to his fellow team members and coaches concerns and expressing agreement or disagreement with strategy. During the season, he shows up at the Patriots training facilities at 4AM every day. He spends several hours watching films on himself, his fellow offensive players, and his opponents. He asks both Patriot defensive players and coaches to critique him weekly. Both he and coach Belichick believe that in order to be consistent championship competitors you have to be willing to work harder than your opponent.

Be 100% Committed is the 6th behavioral dimension in NASA’s 4-D methodology. As a team, the Patriot team players are committed to many different goals, but the most important is winning. Players take stock of their individual situation and assess how they can contribute to meeting that overarching goal. Fellow Patriot players take notice of Tom Brady’s commitment to being competitive and follow his example by equally committing themselves to the same goal.

New England Patriots linebacker, Tedy Bruschi, demonstrated how to inspire a Shared Vision by reminding himself and his fellow teammates of their collective goal of becoming Super Bowl champions every season. The night before a game, he would arrange a “players only” meeting. This meeting allowed players to stand up and informally present their vision of that game’s outcome and the season’s outcome, enlisting each other in a shared vision. These player only meetings would end with Tedy leading his fellow Patriot’s in chant, which he would present them with an unpleasant truth and they would rebuke it. That unpleasant truth was always the same: If each member was not committed to winning, then losing would be the only possible outcome. This is a good example of NASA’s 5th behavioral dimension, Reality – Based Optimism.

Challenge the Process is the third of the five practices of exemplary leadership. Leaders that practice this are always looking for and willing to change the status quo. Coach Belichick did this in two different ways. First and foremost, by requiring most of his players, to learn to play more than one position, coach Belichick believed that his players would be better able to contribute towards competing and winning then their opponents. This is also an excellent example of appropriately including others because players could contribute in more than just one way to reaching the organization’s main goal. Secondly, by restructuring player contracts so as to avoid having players earn exceptionally large salaries. A pleasant by-product of this technique was that it aided in building mutual respect among the players and also in satisfying the 7th behavioral dimension; avoid blaming & complaining.

Enable others to act is the fourth practice of exemplary leadership. Leaders that actively work at enabling their team members to achieve their personal and organizational goals have stronger and more successful relationships with said members. Coach Belichick’s offensive and defensive systems are well known for their complexity, so much so, that both veteran players of other franchises and rookies to the NFL are required to invest a substantial amount of time to learn their assignments and adjustments. The investment comes in the form of practice sessions. Each practice is recorded so that the players and coaches can review that day’s performance. Coach Belichick believes that his method of practice and review fosters collaboration between players and coaches. An additional positive outcome of coach Belichick’s system is that his players develop competence and confidence individually and as a role in the system.

Clarifying roles, accountability, and authority is the 8th and final behavioral dimension in NASA’s 4-D methodology. Leaders need to ensure that their team members are aware of exactly what is expected of them and how they will be held accountable for their deliverables. There are several ways in which this is accomplished beginning with, conducting reviews and coaching sessions. The greater the dialogue between leaders and constituents is, the greater the opportunities there exist to create continuity between both parties. The New England Patriots coaching staff practice this behavior by dedicating as much time as is required to ensure that players understand what their role is and how should they adjust to what their opponents are doing on the field.

Encourage the heart is the fifth and final practice of exemplary leadership. This practice has two subcomponents, recognize contributions and celebrate the values and victories. The Patriot organization does not place a great deal of emphasis on individual accomplishments. Awards received by Patriot players, like the defensive or offensive player of the month award, are not celebrated within the organization. This is not to say that the organization does not recognize individual contributions. The New England Patriots owner, Mr. Kraft and coach Belichick meet with the player and personally congratulate them on their performance on and off the field. Coach Belichick and his general manager take this a little further, by ensuring that key contributors to the Patriots successes on the field are given multiyear contracts that are filled with performance based incentives. As an organization -players, coaches, and support staff- work diligently at creating a spirit of community, by attending fellow players’ children’s school plays to traveling across country to attend a former team member’s funeral, the Patriots live a spirit of community.
Events like the pre-game “players only” meeting and coach Belichick’s pre-season player meetings are examples of how the Patriots player and coaches hold each other accountable for developing a consistently competitive team. In addition, the entire organization, from owner to graduate assistant is held accountable to this same overarching goal by the fans of the New England Patriots. In New England, competing for the championship is the expectation every season.

2. Please provide an analysis of the Culture of New England PATRIOTS using the 4-D System? How about the 3-Lenses?

The culture of the New England Patriot has many things in common with the 4-D system and 3-lenses. First, let’s look at some of the fundamental characteristics of the patriot’s culture: Players who love to play football One Vision – Winning Championships Create healthy competition
First and foremost, the Patriots went after players who have a real love for the game. In fact, Bill Belichick said football has to be one of the top three things in that player’s life; the other two are faith and family. This correlates directly to the Cultivating dimension in the 4-D system. One of the key components of the Patriots organization is that their player’s play for more than just money, they play for the camaraderie and their mutual desire to win. This type of player bleeds into appreciating and trusting each other and having that selfless feeling of playing for something greater than individual accomplishments and more for the greater good of the team.

Next, Bill Belichick preaches to his assistant coaches that they are a reflection of him. Then the assistant coaches have to get the players to become reflections of them. This way everyone ends up being a reflection of Belichick and everyone has the one vision and solidifies the organization as a team. This is the including dimension of the 4-D system. This brings the organization a feeling of inclusion and part of a team, something bigger than the individual. This also is reflective of the Culture of the three lenses system. This is a hierarchical culture where the Belichick has control of the team and this bleeds into the assistant coaches and then the players.

Now that Belichick has control of the team and they are all on the same page, he can instill the values of working together as a team and concentrate on one simple goal, which is winning. This allowed players to make certain sacrifices to win, including personal stardom, because players would rather be the best team instead of being the best player. The Patriots de-emphasize individual accomplishments and emphasize team accomplishments; this creates a culture of success. This is directly related to the strategic lens of the 3 lenses system so everyone has the same goal in mind and strategy to accomplish it. It also is the directing dimension of the 4-D system. Belichick directs all his players to action and directs others towards the one major goal, which is winning.

The Patriots do a great job of creating healthy competition throughout their organization. They accomplish this by cross training players to perform at multiple positions to develop more depth on the team. This helps generate healthy competition because now more players are competing for different positions. This keeps players eager to demonstrate their ability because they know they have more competition at that position. This is reflective of the Visioning dimension of the 4-D system, by constantly creating the need for players to perform at their best. This is also directly related to the culture lens of the three lenses system.

3. Explain the success of the Patriots? Please use concepts from the book such as: Managing Story Lines, using the 4 Styles, and avoiding the Seven Deadly Sins of Teams?

Football is considered by most to be “the ultimate team game” requiring contributions from each and every player to have a successful play. Many people forget one player can’t win a game, it takes a team. When someone makes a great play it’s usually a result of a teammate who made that play possible by blocking a defender, taking on a double team, etc.

One of the biggest issues the NFL has today with creating successful teams is that players are motivated on an individual basis instead of a team basis. They buy in to the better stats they get; the better they are individually. That is the Story-Line most players in the NFL believe. The Patriots have had such great success because the players believe in a different story line, which success is defined by winning the football game. Whether a player has a great individual game, is inconsequential of the team winning. To win games in the NFL on a consistent basis takes considerable sacrifice, including personal stardom. Therefore the success of the patriot’s lies in the fact they believe in the story line that the greater good of the team is more important than the greater good of the individual.

The success of the Patriots all starts with Bill Belichik as the undisputed leader of the Patriots. He has over 30 years of NFL coaching experience and has been around some of the greatest minds of the game. They have a hierarchical structure from Belichik to his assistant coaches and then players. He provides effective leadership to the patriots, by providing effective leadership this avoids the 1st deadly sin of ineffective team leadership and the 7th deadly sin of flawed organizational structure.

Belichick has done a great a job of recruiting players that fit the attitude and system of the Patriots’ organization. His system is designed around the draft. The Patriot’s organization believes this is more cost effective then signing proven veterans. Also, he requires that all his draftees agree to long-term contracts. His process is very selective. First, the player he selects from the NFL draft has to be able to perform physically with a high level of athletic ability. Secondly, the player has to possess a high level of football intelligence. Lastly they have to love playing the game of football and have unmatched desire to win. Using this philosophy to build his team ensures he will have the resources to implement his system successfully. This follows the 2nd deadly sin of Task undoable because of inadequate resources.

Another one of the unorthodox methods Belichik implemented was that he tried to avoid large salary gaps among players on the team. This created more mutual respect for everyone on the team and since salaries where relatively similar, you don’t see the jealousy about player’s salaries that you see around the rest of the league. The players end up not caring about their salary and focus on what’s important for the team which is going out and winning. This correlates to the 5th deadly sin of team engaging in a power struggle, because the players view each other as equals, whether it is a starter or a third stringer.

In conclusion the Patriots success can be basically boiled down to the overall philosophy that is instilled in them by their head coach Bill Belichick. The Patriots have an unrelenting drive, the hunger to be a better, to be the best you can be, and to be a great team. This Patriots Overall philosophy is to be consistent from year to year. They want a team they can sustain, not just have one great year and many mediocre years. The Patriots want to win a championship every year, which is why they have been so successful the last decade.

4. Compensation and Salary Caps – Explain motivation here? How about Ty Law? Please include the administrative/ coach/ training etc...(e.g., Bill Belichick)…

Compensation for football players is directly affected by the hard salary cap introduced by the National Football League (NFL) during the 1994 season. Since the establishment of the salary cap, teams have been financially limited to attract high ranked players. It is important to mention that not all the teams in the NFL are financially capable without the cap to pursue these “star players” which makes the salary cap rule the best way to prevent the accumulation of talent for just a few teams.

The compensation a player receives can be divided in three different categories which can be managed in a way that won’t hurt the cap in a given year. Category one is base salaries, they are paid yearly and always affect the cap. The second category is incentives; these will be given based on an assessment of high performance of the player. They affect the cap in the moment the incentive is given to the player. The last category is signing bonuses; the players receive their bonuses at the time they sign a new contract, unless specified differently in the contract. The bonus can be prorated for the life of the contract, this give the organization an advantage to plan a strategy around the cap rules.

The introduction of the salary cap forced organizations, coaches, and managers to start looking for “intangible” strengths to make their teams attractive to high prospect players because money became tight. One NFL organization that was successful in this endeavor was the New England Patriots. They use their organizational culture to fill their roster with very talented players that have achieving the organizations' goal of winning three championships in 2001, 2003, and 2004.

Organizational culture can shape an organization’s long term success. If employees are able to understand what their company stands for and what standards they are to uphold, then they will be more likely to act and make decisions that will support those standards. The New England Patriots have these standards very clear, in Bill Belichick’s words: “We are building a big, strong, fast, smart, tough and disciplined football team that consistently competes for championships”.

One of the most important attributes found in The New England Patriots team is that everybody in the organization has a clear goal and this is to win championships. They all speak the same language and understand that there is a function for each of them that must be fulfilled in order to reach their ultimate goal. This attribute is very useful when it comes to managing the compensation for each player while maintaining the team under the salary cap.

For athletes performance seems to be easily measured by a simple outcome and this is whether they win or not. Based on this premise and the philosophy followed by the New England Patriots team it is clear that the motivation for these athletes does not come necessarily from the amount of money they will make but from the recognition and self actualization that winning a championship will give them. As it is describe by Maslow in his Hierarchy of Needs Theory; workers and in this case athletes have needs beyond that of earning a paycheck. The New England Patriots in the hands of Bill Belichick and using the organization core values; exploits the need of players to fulfill higher level needs in ways that also advance the goals of the organization.

Bill Belichick and the organization have a unique perspective in regards to compensation. They do not consent on having large salary gaps between the players. Studies have shown that levels of satisfaction do not depend on absolute salaries; they are more dependent on how much we are paid relative to our peers. Having a pay system like this one where the salaries are not spread out helps to prevent jealousy among the players and generates respect for the job the rest of the players do for the team. Using money as a motivator displaces the human need for achievement, it becomes less effective with time, and organizations need to spend more and more for every new contract they sign. This approach will inevitably cause the organization to either run out of cash or “space in the cap”.

There are instances where higher level needs have been reached by a player and motivation becomes more challenging. Ty Law represents this situation very well. He reached recognition through his effective performances along his career with the Patriots. He had already helped his team to win two Super Bowls and won many accolades that made him one of the best corner backs in the league. By 2004, Ty Law had money and recognition so what other need did he need to fulfill? The answer is respect. He translated respect by the amount of money he should have received compared with other corner backs in the league that were at his level of performance. The Patriots organization is well known for letting go of veterans that request salary increases that might hurt their ability to remain under the cap. They are also known for keeping the players that are needed to reach their goal of winning championships. Ty Law stayed with the team for the 2004 season because he was given respect and he was also needed. In 2005 he was let go, again following the Patriots philosophy on player performance and salary vs. the salary cap. It was time the organization look for new blood for the team.

Not everything is about money but everything is about winning championships year after year. The New England Patriots understand this premise very well. They imprint this belief from recruiting through training camps, and games. They know how to win as a team and lose as a team.

5. What will you teach the Patriots from Assignment A-1 (your particular case study)? What will you teach Assignment A-1 from the Patriots?

General Electric and The New England Patriots are very different organizations in regards to their core activities. Simultaneously, they are both successful making profits and wining accolades. Furthermore, they have been able to react appropriately to difficult times.

From 1981 to 2001, GE became one of the most powerful companies in the United States and the world due to the outstanding leadership of Jack Welch. General Electric is many times larger than the New England Patriots organization not only in size but also in manpower and profitability. Based on this, one has to ask what such a big company like GE and a leader like Jack Welch can learn from The New England Patriots and Bill Belichick.

The Anti Star philosophy applied by the New England Patriots has brought championships and other awards to the team for many years. Players sacrifice individual glory to reach the ultimate goal of the organization. Their motivation is not based on money but in becoming a part of a successful team that will fight to win championships year after year. On the other hand, General Electric does not have the same strategy, people in this type of company look to climb the ladder as Jack Welch did. Employees are not willing to sacrifice recognition; on the contrary they have to show how good they are to be promoted up to the next level. Their motivation is to become the most powerful in order to contribute to the well being of the company. The organizational structure of a company like GE would have to become flat in order to be able to simulate the New England Patriots organization. A flatter structure would give a more equal power to employees and prevent jealousy and inequality.

Avoidance of large salary gaps among players was and remains one of Bill Belichick’s main objectives. He is a firm believer inequality for the good of the team. Many New England players accept lower salaries and pay cuts for the good of the team. During the restructuring of, GE Jack Welch decreased the size of his organizations manpower by 110,000 employees. The basic thought was the need for reducing costs. It is not known if the best employees from GE accepted salary cuts or lower salaries than expected to prevent other talented people from leaving the company.

Cross training and depth gave New England Patriots an edge over other NFL teams and helped them insure against the lack of players assigned to specific positions. GE and any other company should use this strategy at all times. It is paramount that organizations are prepared when one of their employees is not present. Cross training provides flexibility and knowledge to understand better the overall processes in a company. Cross training can be performed in any level of the organization.

Leadership in the New England Patriots is represented by Bill Belichick as well as other important players like Tom Brady or Tedy Bruschi (2004 team). But every player should learn leadership abilities and these should be taught by the organization the same way Jack Welch did in GE’s management development institute (Crotonville). Bringing the best for themselves and others is the goal of leadership. GE was able to do it though leadership training and by following the steps of Jack Welch. All players in the Patriots organization need to understand that each and every one of them can be a leader at a certain moment and they need to rise to the occasion when needed.

Another important trait that GE has is innovation. Innovation was a card played by Jack Welch many times. He implemented different practices that helped to involve people and ideas into the success of the company. Some of these practices were Work Out, Best Practices, Boundaryless, Six Sigma, and others. The New England Patriots don’t add to or revolutionize their practices year after year. They ensure their upcoming season’s success by bringing in new talent, with the goal of improving from their previous year performance. However, this is not enough, administrative and coaching practices need to be reviewed with the intent of finding new ways to innovate and improve. People work inside systems and these systems need to be refreshed every now and then.

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...Essay Three Important dates First draft: Begin prewriting and writing first draft in class on March 22. The first draft must be handwritten. Continue writing draft on April 1. Draft due: Upload as a rich text file via joule by April 3 no later than 11:00 a.m. (10 pts. draft) Peer review: In-class peer review on April 3. Bring two copies of your typed essay. (10 pts./peer review) Revise/edit: In-class revise/edit on April 5. Final draft and self-evaluation: Due on April 8. (100 pts./essay and 10 pts./evaluation) Topic: Select one of the following topics. 1. Compare and contrast your culture to another culture. Select at least three points to c/c. Make sure you are not making random or biased judgments but are exploring similarities, differences, and their significance. 2. Compare and contrast your work ethic to another individual’s work ethic. Select at least three to c/c. Make sure you are not making random or biased judgments but are exploring similarities, differences, and their significance. 3. Compare and contrast two potential places of employment. Select at least three points to c/c. Make sure you are not making random or biased judgments but are exploring similarities, differences, and their significance. 4. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of living in an individual or collective society. Select at least three points to c/c. Make sure you are not making random or biased judgments but are exploring similarities, differences, and their......

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