I have been a Florida Gator fan all of my life. I watched the second half of our annual rivalry game with FSU yesterday and wasn't too surprised when we ended up losing. While I had certainly hoped that we might be able to pull off the upset it wasn't unexpected when we fell short.
I didn't catch all of the game, but the part that I did see had some pretty clear leadership lessons. It was very obvious why FSU is now undefeated over their last 28 games, are the defending national champions, and will have an opportunity to defend that title very soon. Florida on the other hand is wrapping up another unsatisfactory season in a minor bowl game and is already looking for another head coach. The game spoke volumes about the way successful leaders and teams operate.
1. They are disciplined: the Gators had 9 penalties for 100 yards and had several potential drives thwarted due to the inability to play disciplined football. Undisciplined leaders lose control of their emotions in tense circumstances.
2. They don't waste opportunities: the defense of Florida forced FSU's quarterback (and reigning Heisman trophy winner) into four interceptions and yet only managed to score six points off of those turnovers. Leaders don't let opportunities to move forward slip by without maximizing the impact.
3. They are focused on proper execution: even though their kicker kept them in the game, he ended up missing two field goals that would have ultimately given them the win. Even if circumstances are not ideal, winners find ways to be successful by executing at the right time.
4. They know how to shift momentum in their favor: Florida had a chance to put the game away early when they had a lead of 9-0. They were about to score near the FSU goal line when their quarterback threw an interception that was returned 94 yards for a touchdown. Instead of potentially being up 16-0 Florida was only up 9-7 and momentum had shifted. Leaders learn to divert negative circumstances for the betterment of their organization.