Book Notes: The Score Takes Care Of Itself by Bill Walsh
The Score Takes Care of Itself describes the attitudes and actions required for implementing a high Standard of Performance.
Standard of Performance
Guidelines for createing a Standard of Performance:
- Create a comprehensive list of specific attitudes and actions
- Communicate clearly that high effort and execution is expected
- Communicate expectation of high expertise
- Teach connection and extension to the team
- Make metrics explicit
Fundamental leadership assertion: Regardless of your specific job, it is vital to our team that you do that job at the highest possible level in all its various aspects.
A philosophy is the aggregate of your attitudes toward fundamental matters and is derived from a process of consciously thinking about critical issues and developing rational reasons for holding one particular belief or position rather than another.
Hire personnel with four characteristics:
- Functional intelligence
- Eagerness to adopt philosophy
There was no timetable for the 49ers to win a Super Bowl. There was a comprehensive standard and plan for installing a level of higher competency in all areas. Have faith the score would take care of itself.
Innovation, Planning, and Common Sense
Create scripts or plans before heading into “foul weather”:
- Flying by the seat of your pants precedes crashing by the seat of your pants.
- When you prepare for everything, you’re ready for anything.
- Create a crisis-management team that is smart enough to anticipate and plan for crises.
- All personnel must recognize that your organization is adaptive and dynamic in facing unstable weather.
People, Priorities, and Performance
Checklist of personal qualities in staff members:
- A fundamental knowledge of their area
- High energy and enthusiasm
- Ability to discern talent in potential employees
- Ability to communicate
- Unconditional loyalty to team
Checklist for keeping staff on the same page:
- Establish clear parameters and methods for staff
- Address philosophical differences privately and one-on-one
- Use different approaches that vary with staff
- Be visible to all departments
- Delegate but monitor
- Correct differences in philosophy in different departments
- Watch out for teaching of personal beliefs
- Prioritize personal contact
Daily reminders to stay on track during a losing streak:
- Concentrate on what will produce results rather than on the results, the process rather than the prize.
- Rely on expertise, composure, patience, and common sense
- Maintain the Standard of Performance
- Don’t isolate yourself
- Don’t let the magnitude of the challenge take away from the next incremental step.
- Stay upbeat and determined.
- Hold staff meetings with what to expect.
- Don’t label a new plan as the thing that will “get us back on track”.
- Maintain courtesy and respect.
- Don’t plead with employees to “do better”.
- Avoid threatening or chastising.
- Deal with immediate superiors one-on-one.