10 Life and Leadership Lessons from the 2018 Patriots Season

Ellie Eckhoff

While it was with crushing disappointment that I watched the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New England Patriots on Sunday, I expect that on Monday morning, Coach Belichick and many members of the team, were already thinking about how they will improve their performance next season. It is this kind of grit and resilience that has made the Patriots into the dynasty that we respect today. Knowing that some of our most valuable lessons come from our setbacks/mistakes, here are ten life and leadership lessons the New England Patriots regularly display that anyone can put into practice:


  1. Team development – teams win together and lose together. Losing hurts, but it is an opportunity to review the plays and think about where you need to go from here. Evaluate bench strength, identify gaps and invest in developing a high performing team.
  2. “No blame” leadership – put a “Brady-like” or vulnerable leader in front – people follow those they trust and respect. Trust is earned by showing vulnerabilities and admitting what you own in the team loss.
  3. Performance and personal accountability – make sure people know what is expected of them, have the skills and knowledge to do the work, and understand how their work connects to the greater purpose of the team/organization.
  4. Mental toughness – it all starts inside. What you think, feel and believe about yourself and your teammates/co-workers is powerful. Your thoughts become words, your words become actions.
  5. Preparation – do the work in advance so when game time (or that big presentation) comes, you are knowledgeable, determined, and confident. Luck favors the prepared.
  6. Trust – coaches and managers want to win as much as their players or employees. They are in a coaching position for a reason. Trust in them and their abilities.
  7. Perseverance – stick with it, despite adversity, difficulty or delay in achieving success.
  8. Expect the unexpected – change will happen. The organization will change, the leadership will change, the team will change. Change creates new opportunities. Who will be ready to step in?
  9. Respect your opponents – without them, there is no competition. Acknowledge their strengths, speak positively about their abilities, and let your actions speak louder than your words.
  10. Show gratitude – team and companies are not successful alone. Show gratitude to others who sacrificed and supported your efforts.


To inquire about how ClearRock can help with leadership development, inquire here.


Ellie Eckhoff is a Senior Vice President at ClearRock.


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