Recovering from setbacks takes fortitude, perseverance and strong leadership. Author Joe Frontiera has written a book about team turnarounds, which outlines his five principals successful teams use to not only forge through tough times but come out even stronger. As an illustration he uses the example of the work Jeffrey Lurie has done as owner of the Philadelphia Eagles.
When Lurie took over in 1994, the football franchise had made the playoffs just 14 times in a 62-year span (23%). Since then, the Eagles have been a perennial contender earning playoff berths in 11 of his 18 years as owner (61%). Doing so made also made Lurie’s $195 million initial investment into a billion-dollar brand.
Then the team fell from Super Bowl contender to underdog. Quotes from Lurie in response to this challenging time help illustrate the qualities Fronteira has found to be the impetus behind team turnaround.
1. Lead past losing: accept the reason for failures and identify root causes of problems.
“When you start to reach for short-term solutions that are not consistent with your culture and your football program, that’s when you end up 4-12.”
2. Commit to Growth: Communicate the vision and values of a better future.
“(we have) an obsession not just to be good but to be great.”
3. Change Behaviors: introduce and reinforce new behaviors and best practices.
“I think we lost some of the exact nature of the method we have all shared that created the success, which was discipline, strategic thinking, don’t do what’s popular, but do what’s right.”
4. Embrace Adversity: fend off obstacles to test your team and become stronger.
“So when we have a season like this year, it’s embarrassing to me, it’s personally crushing, really, it’s terrible. Our fans, they’re the best fans in the country. We say that a lot. These fans deserve the very best, and this year, they got a team that was not very good at all, and I feel terrible about that”.
5. Achieve Success: achieve your team’s goals and decide what’s next?
“(this is) an organization that’s used to winning, that’s used to winning big, and is part of the mantra and that culture, that’s huge.”
6. Nurture a Culture of Excellence: turn attention to keeping your team’s success sustainable with continual learning, innovation, and maintenance of your culture.
“I don’t speak a lot, but I care deeply, no one wants to win more than I do.”