For most Americans (and the world, for that matter), this captured image is old news by now; but the leadership lesson modeled by Coach Reid is anything but old.
The amazing ending to the Super Bowl, with the Kansas City Chiefs coming back to win it after being down 10 to 3 at halftime, was teetering on being the top story of the championship game.
What was eclipsing the repeat champions’ story was an incident caught on camera that happened between Travis Kelce and Coach Andy Reid. Yeah, you know, the infamous bump-and-yell play.
As an Enneagram Practitioner, as well as being a Subtype One-on-one (Type 3), there was no doubt in my mind that Kelce is a fellow member of my subtype. We are known for our intensity in... well, in everything we do! Just ask my Self-Preservation husband. He had been pointing this out decades before we had understanding of our wiring or the Enneagram:
"Yeah, she’s intense. It’s a package deal for sure – ha! But I love it about her, my Bam-bam!"
So intense, in fact, that he tried to get me a vanity plate for my car with the word on it: INTENSE. Or NTENSE. Or N10Z...But they were all taken. Which tells me there are more than a few of us out there!
I believe that Coach Reid could trade notes with my husband if they got to talking about the intensity of Travis Kelce. Of course the media grabbed that clip and took it viral, framing it as an assault – Kelce pushing his coach hard enough that Reid almost lost his balance, while being yelled at by a red-faced mad man.
But I read several accounts of the incident, along with what both Kelce and Coach Reid said about it after the fact, and I land on this:
Coach Reid is a genius for bringing out the best in his star players and he does so by leveraging their strengths.
My thought on this was only confirmed when I read another few postgame headlines about what superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes says about Coach Reid.
Allow me to share some of INC’s account of Mahomes postgame interview and their thoughts on it as it applies to leadership:
Mahomes credited Kansas City head coach Andy Reid for enabling him to achieve this level of success. Calling Reid the ‘best coach of all time,’ Mahomes explained exactly how his mentor has helped him through the years.
'For me, he brings out the best in me because he lets me be me,' Mahomes said. 'He doesn't try to make me anyone else. I don't think I'd be the quarterback that I am if I didn't have Coach Reid being my head coach...
'He brings out the best in me.'
In just seven words, Mahomes identifies a hallmark trait of all great coaches, teaching a brilliant leadership lesson in the process: Great leaders bring out the best in their people.
Without getting into the details of the different schools of thought on how to train NFL quarterbacks, it comes down to this: The standard has been to prioritize the system the coaching staff has developed over the quarterback’s natural style - to train the qb to "play within the confines of an offensive strategy the coach or his administration feels is best." They believe the percentage of success with this method warrants the required conformity of the quarterback.
But Andy Reid had a different idea: Instead of forcing Mahomes into a system, he allowed him to play to his strengths.
Now that gets my attention. As a Life Coach with almost two decades of experience, I firmly believe in the principle of playing to your strengths.
Why spend your time and energy focusing on improving your weaknesses when you will most certainly contribute to the world out of your strengths?!
Mahomes has said “He’s learned how to get the most out of me every day.”
I believe Coach Reid has done similarly with Travis Kelce. Reid has known from the start that Kelce’s passion is fiery. In fact, his passion spilled over in a speech he gave the evening before the Super Bowl. A few of the quotes from people who heard it:
There wasn’t a dry eye in the room!
Coaches and teammates were so moved they were tearing up.
[Kelce’s] speech hit me differently than any other pregame message I’ve heard before.
It was raw and passionate...
I believe that it was in the context of how Coach Reid had just experienced the passion of his star tight end in that speech the night before that he was able to shrug off any inference of malice from Kelce’s verbal and physical display of his intense desire for his team to live up to the potential he knew they had.
As he should have, Kelce apologized – first to his coach, then to the world, for crossing a line (that went around the world). But all the while, Coach Reid was directing his comments to the powerful passion of his players:
They’re passionate players and I love that. Even if they chest bump me to the other side of the 50, I appreciate it,” Reid said. “I just love that the guy [Travis] wants to play and wants to be in there playing and he knows I love that, so it makes me feel young.
There’s no coincidence in the word ‘dynasty’ being used now when referring to the Kansas City Chiefs. And it’s not a fluke how players are able to experience the height of their skill and success with Coach Reid. He knows how to bring out and develop their strengths.
This is me repeating myself; but it's what I'm passionate about:
What are your strengths? How can you start leveraging them instead of focusing on what needs improved?
Remember me asking: What is the thing you can’t not do? Well, I guess for Coach Reid and his fiery Chiefs, the answer is winning championships!
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Blessed to play a part ~