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What We Can Learn From Athletic Coaching

Let’s look at Andy Reid and his coaching principles to see how we can use his leadership skills in the corporate context. Reid’s massive career boasts 255+ regular-season wins and 22 postseason victories. Reid is currently in his 25th season as a head coach -- 14 with the Philadelphia Eagles and 11 with the Chiefs. He has three Super Bowl appearances and two Super Bowl wins with the Chiefs, one with the Packers and one with the Eagles.

Right Person, Right Team

Andy Reid’s keen eye for choosing the right team member for each role was foundational to start. Reid’s genius was manifested in his choice of Patrick Mahomes to be an extension of him on the field directing the troops. This epitomizes the paradigm where team members transcend mere qualifications or professional expertise.

“Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Tyrann Mathieu, Frank Clark and Chris Jones get all the notoriety, and they should because they are all great players. But I don’t know if people fully appreciate what a team effort this is, how every guy on the roster has to make an important contribution along the way.” - Andy Reid

When Mahomes first arrived, he created an instant connection with the team. It was a seamless click which yielded undeniable synchronization. The dynamic exchange of energy between Mahomes and Kelcee was evident to all and mutually invigorating to the entire team. This chemistry fostered unity and cooperation.

Reid exemplified the idea that targeting selection of a team made for successful teamwork. Reid showed that the right group of people co-created winning. It was a formula he had built a successful career on.


Through unseen connection, the team created success through energy output. Synergy is elusive in its measurement. I use the terms synergy and chemistry interchangeably here. Chemistry spreads based on shared goals and passion.

Chemistry serves as the binding force within a team, cultivating bonds that ignite excitement, which, in turn, transforms into energy and on-field victory. Mahomes likened it to a brotherhood, emphasizing its significance. The whole team takes part in the chemistry, the energy. It is co-created. It operates beyond the grasp of measurement but is undeniably present. When everyone collaborates with a shared mindset and common goals, the unleashed energy is unbridled, astonishing, and unstoppable.

Engagement within the team is heightened as this synergy thrives. Players can feel things “click” and get into rhythm with each other. Practicing as a team until the motivations are synched. Resonance is the action that comes from chemistry and engagement. Two people’s chemistry feeds a team, like ripples that go out on the pond. The chemistry resonates until all the team feels it. The energy spreads.

Corporate Workplace

How can we learn from Andy Reid?

  1. Trust your gut

  2. Set the stage

  3. Ignite chemistry by shared passion

Reid didn’t just hire the best player, he hired the right player. In the corporate environment, we rarely think about team dynamics, we just hire the best person for the job. This is a big mistake. Value alignment, background, diversity and attitude are crucial for company culture and team dynamics. He trusted his gut on how to pick the right player. Years of experience gave him the knowledge to do this well.

Reid knew how to keep building, keep coaching, keep training until the “click” happened. When you have a team that has chemistry, it is undeniable and worth pursuing. The coach, the leader’s job is to set the stage, hire the right people, equip them, and set the stage for the chemistry to do the work.

Reid knew how to create shared passion and added it to the chemistry to multiply it. An

organization has to know what it stands for and what it's headed toward. Everyone on the team must share that passion and direction. When they do, the chemistry is multiplied. Engagement increases, successes take place and outcomes are just about guaranteed.

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