SUPER BOWL LI will always be remembered as the super bowl of major turnaround and “transformation”.  I am not sure how many millions of folks concluded that the game “was over” at half-time with the score 21-3 in favor of the Falcons from Atlanta over the perennial winning New England Patriots from Boston.

So, all there was left to do was watch the acrobatic, energetic Lady GaGa at half-time and move on … especially when the Falcons scored first in the second half to make the score 28-3!  No team had EVER come back from more than a 10 point deficit in the history of the Super Bowl … so a 25 point deficit clearly signaled “game over”.

So, what happened during the halftime break to cause such a dramatic PIVOT with the Patriots? Clearly they came out a highly resilient, focused and determined group of men who began executing in a noticeably different way than the first two quarters.  No more dropped passes.  No more leaking offense line protection.  Resurgent running attack coupled with a re-energized defensive team that suddenly looked like they remembered what it takes to win championships. A worn out Atlanta defense helped also.

I am sure there were many factors involved – but clearly one word that applies is CONFIDENCE.  They reclaimed a sense of confidence that they knew how to be champions and what it takes to win.  Reports have it that some of the veterans stood tall and reminded the newer teammates that they had been in these games before and had the quarterback that knows how to win … if the rest of us do our job.  It was an extraordinary display of team confidence grounded with a foundation of excellence in execution … and I am actually not a Patriots fan but have to admire the discipline involved.

Generating Confidence, in my view, is the #1 priority for leaders and an on-going challenge.  In my travels and work with clients, I get to see lots of examples of leaders who do this very well … and more leaders who still have much work to do.  Our VUCA world and its speed of play are a constant battering ram trying to tear down confidence and weaken the resilience of leaders and their teams.

Just like a world class athlete, it is essential that leaders keep working actively to stay fit in the leadership muscles and skills that build authentic trust and confidence … speaking ground truth far and wide, creating transparency, enabling growth and empowerment of teams, fostering active decision-making at all levels, recognizing, developing and rewarding positive values-based behaviors and creating accountability for success throughout the organization.

Generating Confidence in our THE AGILE MODEL involves building real capabilities and  culture for connecting, aligning and engaging all associates, customers, supply partners, communities and stakeholders into an ecosystem to shape future success of the enterprise.  When you have this in place, then you have the potential to win championships in your own space … in the best way.  It’s all part of what we call … BEING YOUR AGILE BEST.

Love to hear your perspective and stories about how CONFIDENCE transformed the day in your world.