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Old 03-10-2009, 06:54 PM   #1
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Default Flashback: Tom Coughlin: Management style analysis

Making this into its own thread. It seems relevant and topical enough for discussion.

http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf...ent_style.html

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Tom Coughlin: Management style analysis
by Joseph R. Perone/The Star-Ledger
Tuesday February 05, 2008, 6:21 AM
He was an autocratic tyrant with an explosive temper who was fired from his last job and came close to being canned from his current one.

But Tom Coughlin had an epiphany: The taskmaster coach, who once fined two of his players for being late for a meeting even though they had been in a car accident, loosened his management style this season and opened lines of communication with players.

It's hard to argue with the results.

His underdog Giants stunned the football world Sunday, beating the then-undefeated Patriots in the Super Bowl. But the turnaround also provides a road map for any business executive to help make disgruntled employees into better performers, management experts said yesterday.

"He had a reputation as a strict guy who laid down the law," said Mark Clark, associate professor of business management at American University's Kogod School of Business in Washington, D.C. "Then, he softened that approach because he realized you're not just managing numbers, you're managing people."

After a disappointing season a year ago, Coughlin seemed on the verge of being fired -- as much for discontent in the locker room as the team's performance on the field. Giants co-owner John Mara ultimately gave him a one-year contract extension, but warned him to loosen up, especially when it came to dealing with the media and his players.

"Look, I'm not an easy guy to get along with," Coughlin told The Star-Ledger last summer. "When something isn't right, I can't disguise my demeanor."

This season, though, he wasn't as openly critical, and he put in place a players' committee to become a buffer between him and the rest of the team.

Coughlin had confidence in "the people he surrounded himself with, and believed in his formula, regardless of what was written about him," said Matt Eventoff, president of PPS Associates/Princeton Public Speaking, an executive communications strategist. "He had a plan and stuck to it, and didn't waiver in the face of controversy."

Lynda McDermott, an organizational psychologist for EquiPro International, a New York management consulting firm, said it was an example of an old-school executive who was able to transform himself through "situational leadership."

"He adjusted his style to the situation -- to the roster of young players -- not unlike Gen Yers in the corporate world who want more empowerment and less 'command and control,'" she said.

Inspiring leaders actively solicit input and incorporate what they hear into making decisions, according to Carmine Gallo, a California-based communications coach and author of the leadership book, "Fire Them Up."

"Coughlin did something that is absolutely critical to get buy-in from young people -- he empowered them and made them feel as though they were part of the building process," he said. "While Baby Boomers are okay with less communication between themselves and their supervisors, people in their 20s and 30s desire a much more frequent amount of communication."

During the season, Coughlin sat down to talk to his players with no clipboard and no agenda, just to find out what they were thinking. The once-stern taskmaster went bowling with them to establish rapport, and he set up a council of veterans to make it easier to communicate with the entire team.

"The first simple and obvious lesson is that good-to-great managers are always part cheerleader," said Mark Amtower, founding partner of Amtower & Co., a Highland, Md., consulting firm. "Make sure your line managers are positive and energetic, and make sure you are that way toward all of those reporting to you."

Managers always have to be flexible in how they approach workers to make them more productive, said Wally Adamchik, a Raleigh, N.C., leadership consultant.

"Managers get feedback about how to improve all the time, but many choose not to listen to it," he said. "They make the same mistakes again and again."

His development of the leadership council was a smart move, because it allowed the players' concerns to be heard, said Erika Andersen, a Kingston, N.Y., author of "Growing Great Employees: Turning Ordinary People into Extraordinary Performers."

"Top managers have to make sure the folks who report directly to them are clear on what is expected," she said.

She rejects the argument that leaders should distance themselves from employees so they can be tough disciplinarians. "You don't have to be good friends with employees, but you have to be friendly," she said.

There were other lessons to be learned from how Coughlin approached the Super Bowl, said Timothy Clark, president of T.R. Clark Associates, a Salt Lake City consulting firm, and a former All America defensive end for Brigham Young University.

Coughlin assessed his team's strengths and exposed the vulnerability of his chief competitor, the Patriots, he said. By using the Giants' pass rush to pressure New England quarterback Tom Brady, Coughlin beat a competitor that had one killer product, but nothing else, Clark said.

"When you go toe-to-toe with a competitor, you have to understand their business model better than they do," he said. "If they have a single-dimension strategy, as the Patriots did, you can shut them down."

Furthermore, Coughlin and the Giants also did not repeat the errors that beat them in previous playoff games, said Rachel Weingarten, author of "Career and Corporate Cool."

"The Giants were a marvel in learning from past mistakes, particularly Manning and Coughlin, and not allowing popular opinion or predictions to sway their determination to win," she said.
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:56 PM   #2
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dude, mcdaniels has yet to hold an OTA, minicamp, or even coach a game. its free agency time and he looked up a deal that didnt go through, now hes committed to the QB and the QB wont get over it. good god, what the hell is going on here.
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:56 PM   #3
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COUGHLIN WINS OVER GIANTS RULES TRANSLATE INTO RESULTS

BY RALPH VACCHIANO DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER
Tuesday, September 28th 2004, 7:25AM
THERE WERE HUGS, handshakes and high-fives all around for the Giants on Sunday, and at least anecdotal evidence that one or two of them came from Tom Coughlin himself. If true, it would mark an incredible thaw in Giants' coach-player relations.
"Winning," said Giants running back Tiki Barber, "does strange things."
Yes it does, and it explains why the Giants' locker room has undergone such a dizzying and remarkable transformation in the first three weeks of the season. The grumbling about Coughlin's rules has been replaced by praise for his discipline and attention to detail. It's as if the previously unhappy players have joined some mind-bending cult.
And all it took was a victory over the turnover-plagued Washington Redskins followed by Sunday's 27-10 laugher over the injury-plagued Cleveland Browns. That gave the Giants a two-game winning streak, and it made the players suddenly recognize there may be more to Coughlin than just petty rules and unnecessary fines.
"For some guys, (Coughlin) was a little shock for them, with the new rules and discipline and stuff," guard Jason Whittle said. "But coach Coughlin's got a great plan, he knows how to win, and guys are seeing that we're winning like that. So they're going to start to embrace that. I hope they do."
They key, of course, is the fact that they are "winning like that," something they weren't doing in the offseason when seven to 10 players complained to their union about Coughlin's workout program. Then there were four players who appealed to the union about fines before the opening game. Back then, Coughlin was a tyrant. And it didn't help when the Giants opened 0-1.
But now at 2-1, the players don't whisper behind Coughlin's back, they speak of him in hushed tones. His focus on turnovers has led them to an NFL-best plus-8 turnover ratio. His emphasis on special teams has turned that unit around. And his legendary attention to detail, which at times grated on his players, is what got them ready to beat the Redskins and Browns.
"You buy into a philosophy and you stick with it," Barber explained. "If you're losing, obviously this philosophy would not be so great. But we're winning. You've got to see that there's some merit in it."
This, of course, is what Coughlin's supporters and many of his former players had said all along. They always insisted that while the Giants might not initially like his style, personality or rules and regulations, they will enjoy everything about him once they start to win.
The big question now is how long will all this happiness last? Next up for the Giants are two tough games, at Green Bay and at Dallas. A win in either could vault the Giants into the ranks of true contenders and legitimize Coughlin's philosophy. But could two losses be enough to disrupt the harmony and reopen the locker room hotline to the NFLPA?
That remains to be seen. But for now Coughlin and the Giants are on a winning streak. And it looks like that's enough to convince the players to give their mean old coach a chance.
"I guess you do need to see it be successful in order for you to fully buy into it," said linebacker Barrett Green. "Now we know it's working and we're going to try to keep it going."
"People were complaining about, 'Well I'm not having as much fun,'" Whittle added. "Well, if you start winning you have fun. I don't care how many rules he has. If you're winning you're having fun."


You have an article from 2008....after Coughlin had been there for 4 or 5 years....at that point there was a comfort level

this was how he made it HIS TEAM

dont take things out of context
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:59 PM   #4
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Coughlin won a SB. Dumb thread
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Old 03-10-2009, 07:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by vancejohnson82 View Post

You have an article from 2008....after Coughlin had been there for 4 or 5 years....at that point there was a comfort level

this was how he made it HIS TEAM

dont take things out of context
He was as close to being fired as one can get at the end of the 2006 season.

He said he was wrong, he changed his ways, and it worked. Who am I to disagree with him and his team.
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Old 03-10-2009, 07:01 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ApaOps5 View Post
Coughlin won a SB. Dumb thread
i think its relevant actually...

but this guy googling articles from 2008 after Coughlin had already instilled his work ethic by getting rid of guys like Shockey and Barber is definitely not relevant

comparing apples to apples would be taking Coughlins early tenure and McDs


but thats too complicated
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Old 03-10-2009, 07:01 PM   #7
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Coughlin won a SB.
That'd be the point.
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Old 03-10-2009, 07:02 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by frerottenextelway View Post
He was as close to being fired as one can get at the end of the 2006 season.

He said he was wrong, he changed his ways, and it worked. Who am I to disagree with him and his team.
he changed after 3 years of grooming his guys

why cant you just acknowledge that and then we will agree to disagree
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Old 03-10-2009, 07:04 PM   #9
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i think its relevant actually...

but this guy googling articles from 2008 after Coughlin had already instilled his work ethic by getting rid of guys like Shockey and Barber is definitely not relevant

comparing apples to apples would be taking Coughlins early tenure and McDs


but thats too complicated
and Strahan?

Anyways, Coughlin said he made mistakes early on. Belichick did the same in Cleveland (the team even moved in part over it!). As did Mangini in on the other New York team. We are seeing what looks to be the same path with McDaniels in the same tree.
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Old 03-10-2009, 07:04 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by vancejohnson82 View Post
he changed after 3 years of grooming his guys

why cant you just acknowledge that and then we will agree to disagree
He changed because it did not work.
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Old 03-10-2009, 07:05 PM   #11
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he changed after 3 years of grooming his guys

why cant you just acknowledge that and then we will agree to disagree
But at least we're to the point where we're acknowledging he did change now.
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Old 03-10-2009, 07:09 PM   #12
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no, i never said he didnt change....I'm saying those three years that he was given carte blanche and fining these guys weeded out the players that it wouldnt work out with....I think Shockey was a great example, he just never bought into it

dont make it seem like I'm budging from my position...
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Old 03-10-2009, 07:15 PM   #13
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Coughlin won a SB. Dumb thread
I know. Wouldn't it be awful if our coach had the same "fate."

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Old 03-10-2009, 07:20 PM   #14
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I know. Wouldn't it be awful if our coach had the same "fate."

You mean change ways? Coughlin is a no bull guy, but he's a player's coach.

Hopefully McD figures this out sooner, rather than on his second team like the rest of his tree in Coughlin, Belichick, and Mangini.
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