Category Archives: John Schneider

Seahawks Winning Culture…

Seahawks logoBack in September at our CEOtoCEO breakfast we had the great privilege of having John Schneider speak to our group about the culture of the Seattle Seahawks. We all know how that story ended…with a SuperBowl victory!! But being a business leader you know there are lots of moving parts behind this to make it truly come together the way it did. A big one is CULTURE…

Last month we had the opportunity to have Steve Gandara from Excellent Cultures and Brad Root from GM Nameplate talk to us about “HOW” you can build this type of culture in your company or organization. Well, they took it a step further and married the Seahawks culture with their discussion about how to create this type of culture in a tremendous Four Part Series. We wanted to share these with you so you can get even more depth about how to create an excellent culture in your own organization.

Excellent CulturesIn PART ONE of The Seahawks Superbowl Winning Culture, they talked about 4 key elements that help them differentiate themselves from their competition. Here is their list…

  1. The level of intensity with which they play
  2. The voracious competitive spirit that seems to drive them
  3. The youthful talent of the players
  4. And most of all how much fun they have playing the game

In PART TWO they talked about how confidence played such a key role in their achievement. Two key ingredients that helped make up this winning culture were…

  1. Humility
  2. Confidence vs. Arrogance

These two components were far bigger drivers of their successful culture than just being a “great place to work.” There is a great deal to culture and it starts with the leadership of the organization. Pete Carroll was a master at creating this culture and allowing the players to do what they do best.

In PART THREE of the series, they focused on the internal relationships that go on between the leadership of the team and organization and the players. Yes, there is a definite relationship that has to be established and creating one that allows everyone to do what they do best is critical if you are to achieve the ultimate prize of being Superbowl champions. Two areas they discussed were…

  1. Positive Competition
  2. Superior Teams are built on high quality relationships

All of our organizations are “teams” and as such these are very applicable to everyone.

In the FOURTH (and final) PART of their series, they focused the TEAM aspects of the culture. How do they build a winning “team” that works so well together and delivers the results they wanted. One of the key aspects to accomplishing this is “Proper Goal Orientation.” They talk about this and how the Seahawks used it masterfully in their efforts to be the most successful team in the NFL this year.

So we highly recommend you read all four parts and see how you might compare to a team that was obviously successful in the most watched Superbowl in history. This was not only an exciting day for all of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, but it is a series of events we can all learn from as we lead our companies. Special thanks to Steve Gandara and Excellent Cultures for putting these blog posts together and allowing us to share them with you. And as usual…please share your comments and thoughts below.


John Schneider’s Partnership with Pete Carroll

Seahawks logoWe had the opportunity back in the fall to have John Schneider, General Manager of the (SuperBowl bound) Seattle Seahawks speak to us at one of our CEOtoCEO breakfast meetings. What a treat…both from John being very entertaining with his dry sense of humor but the insights he shared with us about the Seahawks organization. We were honored to have him speak and now that the Seahawks are in the Superbowl (GO HAWKS!!) his comments provide some real background on why.

We want to share some different pieces of his speech with you over the next couple of weeks to give you some more insight into not only John, but about Pete Carroll and how they worked together to create what has surely been a historical season.

To start, we wanted to share an interesting segment from his speech where he talked about Pete Carroll’s background as well as his and how they ended up at the Seahawks and creating this amazing partnership that has had such incredible success. I will let you know this is about 7 minutes long so I would encourage you to watch when you have the time so you can hear all of it at once.

As you can see, they both failed…in many people’s eyes. But if you know anything about failure, it is simply the next step to success or as the famous Thomas Edison put it, it simply tells you what doesn’t work so you don’t have to try that again and can move onto finding what does work. They both figured this out, were motivated beyond their “failures” and came together to create an incredible machine called the “Legion of Boom” and the best team in the NFC division of the NFL…not bad for a couple of guys that failed a few times!

Tip from Seahawks leaders: Check your ego at the door.

Seahawks Harvin FootballJohn Schneider, General Manager and Executive Vice President, of the Seattle Seahawks shared the partnership he enjoys with head coach Pete Carroll and their working relationship at the September CEOtoCEO Breakfast.  One of the keys to their relationship that contributes to the success of the Seahawks John shared is to not let ego’s of the individuals get in the way of what is best for the team.  John’s comments to the group exemplified this as those attending appreciated his no ego conversation style.

I grew up in Wisconsin during the Vince Lombardi led Packer Glory years of the 1960’s.  From and early an early age I was drawn to the core philosophies of successful coaches.  Considering and ascribing to some of these philosophies have served me well in a number of leadership positions and situations.  Thought I would share some of John Schneider and Pete Carroll’s philosophies from John’s presentation.

“Let’s do it better than anyone has ever done it before!”

ALWAYS COMPETE” (either you’re competing or your not)


“EVERYTHING COUNTS” (You’re being evaluated in everything you do, not just on the football field.)   Building a “Consistent Championship Caliber Football Team” (Fan Base has hope every year)

PLAN = What’s next on the Horizon COMMUNICATE = Effective Conversations WORK = Out-work Opponents

NO EGO   * Most important thing is what’s best for the organization.  Not what’s best for Pete Carroll or John Schneider.

* Whatever is best for the organization should be the best for us.

* Nobody has all the answers…nobody.