What Your Business Could Learn from Nick Saban

My favorite college sports team is The University of Alabama Crimson Tide (tweet your ‘Roll Tide’ or disdain on Twitter to @mickythompson). While I love my alma maters Middle Tennessee State University and The University of Arizona, my football passion since a small child has led me to be a lifelong ‘Bama fan. My passion was cultivated by both my father’s admiration for Coach Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant, legendary coach at Alabama in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s and my Spring Hill High Raider’s football head coach’s loyalty to running Alabama’s defensive formations which led our school to win a State Championship and made many of our opponents fear our offense choking defense.

I was a fan of Alabama even threw all the sanctions plus winning drought of the 1990’s and 2000’s. For 18 years after 1992, Alabama went without an appearance in the NCAA College Football National Championship game leaving many to wonder if Alabama’s football glory was mostly behind us. That all changed in 2007 when Alabama hired Miami Dolphin’s head coach Nick Saban. This shocked many SEC followers and your’s truly given Saban had already one a NCAA National Championship at arch rival Louisiana State University just a few years earlier (I turned down a full scholarship to LSU to attend Arizona partly because of my disdain for LSU).

I told my wife the day Nick was hired, Alabama will soon be back on top with him at the helm and I would attend his first championship game when it happens. That day came in 2010, just 3 short years later, and I even got to meet Nick Saban personally (got a signed autograph to prove it) at his first NCAA National Championship with Alabama. In that championship game held at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl Stadium, Saban would lead Alabama to a 37-21 defeat over the Texas Longhorns.

Recently, Nick Saban was featured on CBS’s 60 Minutes who like other media outlets have worked hard to figure out his winning secret (which isn’t really that secret). My favorite quote from Nick Saban came during the CBS episode where he said “Mediocre people don’t like high achievers and high achievers don’t like mediocre people.” 60 Minutes summed up Saban’s ability to win in this statement: Saban’s players have faith in their coach largely because of a revolutionary approach he designed years ago called The Process. Ignore the scoreboard, Saban preached to his players. Don’t worry about winning, just focus on doing your job at the highest level, every single play, and the wins will follow.

Often, I am asked to recommend a book for business managers and entrepreneurs to read for how best to run their growing enterprises and that book I always recommend is The E-Myth Revisited (see the other books I recommend on My Favorites page). If Saban wrote a book, I am sure it would read like the E-Myth because many of his teachings on mastering the game of football translate well to business, also. See for yourself below in the two videos from CBS on how Nick Saban coaches and wins and then read The E-myth. When you have, be sure to share with me your thoughts on my analysis.

Below is the video from CBS’s 60 Minutes on Nick Saban and his reign at The University of Alabama football. CBS also provides bonus footage of a speech Saban gave at one of his legendary youth football camps which I have included below.

CBS News Video and Transcript: click here

Bonus Footage: Below is a bonus video of Nick Saban speaking with young high school student football athletes at his summer football camp. I hope you also find Nick Saban a true inspirational speaker and person as I do.