Even if you don’t follow football, you know that losing four straight games in a short 16 game season would put any team with a 4 wins and 6 losses record in a difficult spot to make the postseason playoffs. The Packers were in such a position after another loss on November 2oth. ESPN reports in this story today about Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers:
Rodgers had tried just about everything to turn this thing around. He’d even picked up a book, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable.” But the night of Nov. 20 had this feeling of finality, that their run of seven consecutive playoff appearances was about to end, and Rodgers had to sense it. Their postseason chances had winnowed to 8.8 percent.
When many leaders are frustrated with negative results, their backs up against the wall and dealing with pressure to improve their team’s future, they often look outside themselves for expert advice and stories of how others have made a positive change. Turns out that The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni was exactly the right book in the right moment for Aaron Rodgers… He did the math to confirm they could make the playoffs if they won out the rest of their games, saying “I feel like we can run the table” to press after that Nov. 20th loss.
The Packers haven’t lost since and are playing in the NFL Conference Championship against the Atlanta Falcons this Sunday night, one win away from Super Bowl LI in February.
“The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” is a business book. It’s about the problems teams face as they try to “row together.” Rodgers calls it a “phenomenal read for anybody in a leadership position.”
“One [part] that especially talked to me about this team,” Rodgers said, “was communication and conflict and being comfortable having issues with teammates and resolving them and moving forward in a positive way and not having that fear of conflict, which I think alienates and isolates individuals. Being comfortable talking to people and letting them talk to you about issues they have and being constructive and positive in your reaction to that.”
It sounds like Aaron Rodgers did a very close read of The Five Dysfunctions and is putting it into action, leading his team on a crucial winning streak to reach this point in the NFL Playoffs.
We wish him the best of luck against the Atlanta Falcons, a team who have all likely read former coach Mike Smith’s (along with co-author Jon Gordon) You Win in the Locker Room First. May the best led (and read!) team win.