Bill Belichick, coach of the New England Patriots, has one facial expression. I’m not sure if you’d describe it as grumpy, unhappy, or intimidating – maybe all three.
You wouldn’t call it warm.
The detachment of a clear goal:
People with clear goals and roles avoid distraction. They may seem harsh and detached. You either help them reach their goal or you’re irrelevant.
In his own words, Belichick focuses on one goal. Win. His focus reminds me of a conversation I had with a pilot.
I spoke with a Life Flight pilot about the things that happen in the back of his helicopter. He carries broken people to trauma centers. Some die. His reply might seem harsh and detached.
He said he ignores what’s going on in the back of the helicopter. He has one job. “Get to the trauma center as quickly and safely as possible.”
The pilot went on to say that what’s happening in the back is a distraction.
Belichick seems like a detached jerk because he has one clear goal.
What about personal connection?
Belichick acknowledged one of his early mistakes was not paying attention to the personal lives of his players. You could say he was too detached. In a CNBC interview with Suzy Welch he said…
“There were times when I was too detail oriented…I didn’t give enough breadth or give enough leadership in other areas…” He was speaking about being aware of personal issues of people on the team. He said, “The more you can help take care of those (personal or family issues) … the smoother the ship runs….”
During the interview, he talks about going to movies and playing games with players.
Belichick doesn’t do this because he enjoys relationships. He does it because it helps him win.
What is the goal of leadership?
What distractions hinder leaders?