I don’t read many biographies of sports figures because they typically focus too much on scores and details of old games and rehash old stories and anecdotes I already knew. But as a lifelong Giants fan I couldn’t resist the opportunity to get a free copy of Parcells: A Football Life in return for an honest review on BloggingForBooks.org.
I’ve always admired Bill Parcells for his ability to take stock of a moribund organization and whip it into shape. Time and again he stepped into a franchise that was struggling and managed to change the mindset of the players, coaches, and fans so they could actually believe in themselves and reach their true potential. He always left an organization in better shape than when he arrived.
Parcells has a strong personality and is full of confidence which allows him the freedom to hire excellent people to work with him. A more insecure coach would surround himself with “yes men” who could never be a threat to him, but Parcells gathered nothing but the best football minds he could find as his assistants inclufing Bill Belichick, Tom Coughlin, Sean Payton, Todd Bowles, Eric Mangini, and Tony Sparano…all of which went on to become head coaches themselves.
If he wanted, Parcells could become a motivational speaker and pass along his lessons on leadership to struggling companies who need a hand turning things around. He might not be the easiest person to work for, but he’s consistent and sets expectations so you know what you need to do if you want to stick around. This book is a bit too football-oriented for the purpose, but I have no doubt Parcells could write a kller book on leadership and accountability that would take corporate America by storm.