It's been little over 24 hours since the Baltimore Ravens were crowned as Superbowl Champions. And as I reflect on this historical game, I'm again reminded of one of my favorite quotes by writer John C. Maxwell, "Everything rises and falls on leadership." That's right. Everything. The Ravens season was a perfect example of how leadership can galvanize a group people who don't necessarily have the best talent, the most skill or have it's most important personnel available for the game. Last nights game is a perfect opportunity to illustrate how leadership will help an organization overcome its deficiencies and overcome overwhelming odds to become successful.
The leaders for the Ravens were Ray Lewis (the emotional leader), John Harbaugh (the coach or general), Ed Reed (defensive leader), Joe Flacco (offensive leader) and Ray Rice (inspirational leader). The Ravens weren't expected to make it to the Superbowl much less win the Superbowl.
History books are filled with companies or military organizations that were outnumbered or didn't have as the resources as their opponent but fought on and came out victorious; despite the odds. What did these companies have that enabled them to win in business or war?
- They had a clear vision or mission - When a team or organization has a clear mission and everyone is on the same sheet music (unified), it's difficult to stop them.
- Everyone had clear roles and they played his role. It's easier to win when team members know what they are supposed to do and they are good at that particular role.
- They knew the opponent better than the opponent knew themselves - The Ravens knew the 49ers team inside and out. They knew the 49ers tendencies and they had the right players to keep the 49ers from doing what they like to do.
- They had great leaders. Not only were the coaches good leaders, the players were leaders as well. The coaches didn't have to tell the players what to do, the players coached each other
- They supported one another. When one player was hurt or when the media talked negatively about Ray Lewis, the team showed support of Lewis and filled the rolls of hurt players.
- They played for a cause. The Ravens wanted to win a Superbowl for Ray Lewis. When someone or some organization play for a cause, it's more likely to be successful.
- The team kept repeating the vision. Although everyone may have known the vision, the Ravens, and in particular Ray Lewis, kept repeating the vision over and over.