Saban – Monte Burke
Stack the cards in your favor.
In the NFL, the best teams are punished for winning (late draft position). Saban’s strength is recruiting and he learned after leaving the Dolphins job, NCAAFB is where he was set up best to succeed.
Find enjoyment in the process. Nothing is ever perfect.
Saban’s father wasn’t about the result, he was about perfect execution.
“Saban was intent on trying to please his father to truly strive for the impossible perfection that was demanded. Saban adapted his own behavior. He learned to derive pleasure and satisfaction in the very act of doing. Put another way, Saban, at a very young age, learned to embrace and love the process of doing.”
“Silence is better than bullshit.”
Make decisions based on achieving a goal.
“He doesn’t get weakened by sentimentality or emotional things. He’s not worried about what you feel about his decisions, he doesn’t care who likes it. He makes every decision based on winning football games.”
In sports, there is a timeframe for celebration and mourning.
The twenty-four-hour rule: players coaches and staff – a team – was given twenty-four hours to celebrate a win or mourn a loss, no matter its significance, then had to move on.
High achieving leaders are often difficult to deal with.
His players wouldn’t disagree – he knows football. They differ in succeeding themselves if they are willing to put up with all the bullshit. If a player won’t buy-in, he won’t succeed. It is Saban’s way or no way. No one is treated special.
All players who played with him won’t disagree that he knows his stuff. But they say the diff between one of them succeeding with him is if they can put up with all his bullshit and buy in. or does the bullshit prevent them from doing anything. It was Saban’s way or no other way. He didn’t treat anyone special
“Do your job.” – Bill Belichick
Trust The Process
The Process is built around the idea that motivation itself is highly overrated, lasting for about two plays. Plays are to be broken out into minute pieces, putting players in the position to perform small tasks without anxiety.
Michael Phelps coach implores a similar process for preparation, preparing Phelps for any scenario that may occur during competition.
Going for his 10th gold medal of his career – making him the winningest Olympian of all time – his goggles filled up with water as he dove in to compete in the 200-meter butterfly. “I dove in and they filled up with water, and it got worse and worse during the race. From the 150-meter wall to the finish, I couldn’t see the wall. I was just hoping I was winning.”
The greatest Olympian swimmer was prepared for this situation.
When ideas are broken down into their most fundamental forms, they are easily digestible and understood. Elon Musk invokes a First Principles philosophy to understand new concepts so quickly.
Back to the Nick Saban Process
Developed alongside Lionel Rosen, a professor of Psychiatry at Michigan state.
Rosen notes, “Motivation itself generally lasts about two plays- it’s highly overrated,” and “the most destructive phenomenon in sports is relief. Its typically followed by a decrease in performance”
Process thinking is done by breaking things into smaller pieces that can be handled without anxiety. It provides a way of functioning without being overwhelmed by the bigger picture. A way to momentarily stray from confusion.
“Each player would focus on his individual responsibility. Rosen emphasized that the average play in the football game lasted about seven seconds. The players would concentrate only on winning those seconds, take a rest between plays, then do it all over again. There would be no focus at all on the scoreboard or on the end result.”
“The squeakiest wheels always get the most grease.”
To perform at Saban’s level, he must always be on edge.
An intern for nick, “The thing you figure out about Nick real early is that it’s fourth-and-one every second of every minute of every hour of every day.”
Relief Syndrome –
When something good happens it’s harder to stay focused, to pay attention to detail. You tend to want to take a break, or expect that ‘I did well once, so I should take it easy now’.
Lying can be necessary to protect individuals from backlash.
When leaving the Dolphins job, he couldn’t publicly say he was going until it was official. He would lose his locker room if he declared himself a dead-fish walking. If lying or denying is to keep something in line, it can be worth it.
“The circumstances changed and I made a different decision. That’s not lying.”
Be confident in the decisions because you can’t accurately predict the outcome.
“When you make a coaching decision, you can be decisive because, while you don’t control the outcome, you do control the processes that go into the outcome, the preparation of the team and the staff. Career decisions are different. There are a lot of unknowns that are out of your control, and you don’t really know how things will change and how different they will be.” – Will Muschamp
“We cannot depend on the successes of the past to help us be successful in the future.”
Advice on sleeping around-
“Ultimately, you never want to sleep with anybody who has less to lose than you do. So, ultimately, if I’m every going to sleep around on Miss Terry, it’s going to be with Hillary Fucking Rodham Clinton.”
This can be applied to many areas of life. Don’t out leverage yourself. Don’t get too involved with someone who has less to lose than you do. Those people can, and often will, drag you down.
Develop a routine.
“He still eats two Little Debbies every morning as he drinks coffee and flips on the Weather Channel to see if the team will be practicing indoors or out. For lunch, he has the same iceberg lettuce salad topped with turkey slices. Every Thursday evening during the season, he wolfs down a dinner of meat loaf, macaroni and cheese, and green beans. He is a regular attendee at a Catholic church in Tuscaloosa.”
There is a similar pressure to always be winning as there is to always be losing.
There is a lot less pressure to rebuilding than there is to sustain a winning culture. At Alabama, a two-loss season is deemed a failure.
High levels of success are the result of hard work… and given the right opportunity.
He took pride in the fact that no one could outwork him. Routinely starting his days at 5AM and ending at 11PM. His staff was expected to match his schedule – during his first year at LSU, the staff worked forty-eight weekends.
But what is misunderstood about the 10,000-Hour Rule is that expert performance in any skill cannot be achieved without ample opportunities and help.
Like any celebrity, they are often viewed as achieving their success single-handedly. Saban is not shy to credit his entire team. From a young age, his father taught him how to watch film and would spend hours each day teaching him how to dissect plays. His most popularized idea, The Process, was developed in collaboration with a professor from Michigan State. Saban is extremely successful. He is and outlier, and he got there with a lot of hard work and a lot of help.