I just returned from Green Bay, Wis. Like most visitors, I drove by and took pictures of the Vince Lombardi statue in front of Lambeau Field.
The Green Bay Packers’ stadium is built right on the highway with residential houses just across the street. The reason they do not relocate the stadium is that, since legendary Packers coach Vince Lombardi came to town in 1959, Lambeau Field has been hallowed ground. This is supported by a 30-year waiting list to buy season tickets!
Vince Lombardi made champions of the Green Bay Packers by creating a winning culture and chasing perfection in the pursuit of excellence.
Let’s look at two lessons on how Lombardi turned one of the worst teams in professional football into a dynasty:
1. He Created a Winning Culture.
When Lombardi took over in Green Bay, he didn’t create a bold new strategy. He didn’t change the people. He didn’t come up with a magic fix. He changed the organization’s culture.
Culture is “the way we do things around here.” Culture is the sum of the key values of an organization, expressed in behavior. Vince Lombardi wanted the Green Bay Packers to have a culture of excellence. The natural results were championship teams.
2. He Chased Perfection.
One of Lombardi’s most powerful quotes reveals his culture statement:
Gentlemen, we are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it, because nothing is perfect. But we are going to relentlessly chase it, because in the process we will catch excellence. I am not remotely interested in just being good.
As independent agents, our goal should be to create a culture of excellence in our team that will be duplicated in the dealerships we serve. Lombardi knew that, to make a culture change, you have to determine the behaviors that demonstrate them. You also must articulate those values and model the behavior you want from others.
Lombardi produced excellence because he demanded it from everyone and, most importantly, from himself. I know I am speaking to independent agents that are not remotely interested in just being good. So let’s make excellence the theme in 2017!