Bill Walsh Quotes

If you see players who hate practice, their coach isn't doing a very good job.

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The absolute bottom line in coaching is organization and preparing for practice.

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A resolute and resourceful leader understands that there are a multitude of means to increase the probability of success. And that's what it all comes down to, namely, intelligently and relentlessly seeking solutions that will increase your chance of prevailing in a competitive environment. When you do that, the score will take care of itself.

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I've observed that if individuals who prevail in a highly competitive environment have any one thing in common besides success, it is failure—and their ability to overcome it.

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The ability to help the people around me self-actualize their goals underlines the single aspect of my abilities and the label that I value most—teacher.

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Failure is part of success, an integral part. Everybody gets knocked down. Knowing it will happen and what you must do when it does is the first step back.

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When you stand and overcome a significant setback, you'll find an increasing inner confidence and self-assurance that has been created by conquering defeat. Absorbing and overcoming this kind of punishment engenders a sober, steely toughness that results in a hardened sense of independence and a personal belief that you can take on anything, survive and win.

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The culture precedes positive results. It doesn't get tacked on as an afterthought on your way to the victory stand. Champions behave like champions before they're champions; they have a winning standard of performance before they are winners.

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[G]reat players and great companies don't suddenly start hunching up, grimacing, and trying to "hit the ball harder" at a critical point. Rather, they're in a mode, a zone in which they're performing and depending on their "game," which they've mastered over many months and years of intelligently directed hard work. There's only so much thinking you can isolate and focus on during that kind of extreme competitive pressure. It has to be tactical more than a conscious effort to really "try harder." You just want to function very well, up to your potential, effortlessly—do what you already know how to do at the level of excellence you've acquired—whether in making a presentation or coaching a game or anything else.

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Flying by the seat of your pants precedes crashing by the seat of your pants.

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Everybody's got an opinion. Leaders are paid to make a decision. The difference between offering an opinion and making a decision is the difference between working for the leader and being the leader.

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We all have in our mind inspiring examples of individuals who persevered beyond the point of reason and common sense and prevailed. We tend to ignore the more numerous examples of individuals who persisted and persisted and finally failed and took everybody down with them because they would not change course or quit. We ignore them because we never heard about them.

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You must be the best version of yourself that you can be; stay within the framework of your own personality and be authentic. If you're faking it, you'll be found out.

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The trademark of a well-led organization in sports or business is that it's virtually self-sustaining and self-directed—almost autonomous. To put it in a more personal way, if your staff doesn't seem fully mobilized and energized until you enter the room, if they require your presence to carry on at the level of effort and excellence you have tried to install, your leadership has not percolated down.

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[C]onsistent motivation usually comes from a consuming desire to be able to perform at your best under pressure, namely, the pressure produced by tough competition. If a player needed me to light a fire under him by turning the other team into a demon, he was lacking something I couldn't give him.

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Strong leaders don't plead with individuals to perform.

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Make each person in your employ very aware that his or her well-being has a high priority with the organization and that the well-being of the organization must be his or her highest professional priority.

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The highest-paid, most talented people that you can go out and hire will not perform to their potential unless they feel as if they are part of something special—a family that treats them right.

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It was always my goal to create and maintain a working environment both on and off the field that had a sense of urgency and intensity but did not feel like we were in constant crisis mode.

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In evaluating people, I prize ego. It often translates into a fierce desire to do their best and an inner confidence that stands them in good stead when things really get rough. Psychologists suggest that there is a strong link between ego and competitiveness. All the great performers I've ever coached had ego to spare.

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"[E]xtra effort," in whatever form it takes (mental, physical, emotional), cannot be sustained without eventual damage and diminishing returns. There has to be a very acute awareness on your part as to the level of exertion and the toll it's taking on those you lead.

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By instinct we—leaders—want to run hard all the time; by intellect we know this is not possible. Reconciling those two positions in the context of leadership is an ongoing challenge.

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Concentrate on what will produce results rather than on the results, the process rather than the prize.

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Clear thinking and overly charged emotions are usually antithetical.

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People matter most—more than equipment, investors, inventions, momentum, or X's and O's. People are at the heart of achieving organizational greatness.

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Afford each person the same respect, support, and fair treatment you would expect if your roles were reversed. Deal with people individually, not as objects who are part of a herd—that's the critical factor.

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If you care about how you're perceived by others, including the public, it's good to remember the following: Criticism—both deserved and undeserved—is part of the territory when you're the one calling the shots. Ignore the undeserved; learn from the deserved; lick your wounds and move on.

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Calculated risks are part of what you do, but the idea that something completely crazy will work just because it's completely crazy is completely crazy.

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In your efforts to create interest in your own product, don't get carried away with premature promotion—creating a pretty package with hype, spin, and all the rest. First, make sure you've got something of quality to promote. Then worry about how you're going to wrap it in an attractive package. The world's best promotional tool is a good product.

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One of the common traits of outstanding performers—coaches, athletes, managers, sales representatives, executives, and others who face a daily up/down, win/lose accounting system—is that a rejection, that is, defeat, is quickly forgotten, replaced eagerly by pursuit of a new order, client, or opponent.

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