Both teams showed brilliant performances, but what made the critical difference? While I would normally proclaim from a high soapbox that talent trumps all and show the evidence to back it up, I have to say in this case that leadership developed loyalty from their talent, and that trumped all.
In the aftermath, I took a look at the Steelers organization from the top-down. It was just remarkable that so many Steelers players attributed their success to the Rooney family. After reviewing numerous articles about the newest Super Bowl Champions, there were several things that stood out among others in terms of leadership and teambuilding:
- The Rooneys as leaders take their jobs seriously and are present every day, both in body and mind
- Dan Rooney gives his personal cell phone number to every single player on the team - what an open-door policy!
- The Steel-town, blue-collar, never-say-die attitude transcends what most teams will ever experience
Through good times and bad, the Steelers have endured to become the leading dynasty in recent history. Leadership in the Steelers organization has instilled a model to create the most loyal team and fans in the NFL. And they vote with their feet, not just their voice. Congratulations to the Steelers becoming the first team with six (6!) Super Bowl rings! Now let's treat this lesson as more than just a fan-favored event and apply it to business.