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EMBA students Get Some Coaching as Georgia Tech’s Coach Collins Shares His Top Ten Learnings

Coach Collins with EMBA Class

Coach Collins with EMBA Class

While you might not think football coaching and MBA courses have a lot in common – they have more in common than you think according to Georgia Tech Football Coach Geoff Collins. Collins recently addressed the Executive MBA class at Scheller College and shared 10 key business learnings:

  1. Press conferences are marketing, branding, and strategy - all of the things talked about in EMBA classes. As a head coach, everything you do is about building a culture and building a brand.
  2. As the leader, you have to build a culture that encourages team members to stay engaged and actively participate. Put your team in an environment and a culture where they can develop and flourish in every way, every day.
  3. Leaders must provide a vision for the future and then develop and execute a successful plan to deliver on that vision.
  4. Sometimes you need to rejuvenate your brand – our “404 day” is seeking to rebrand GT football with the goal that within 10 years Georgia Tech is the epi-center of college football. We are using marketing and branding to create a desire for the product and then we will deliver on that.
  5. “Brands win championships” – a true statement based on the title of Coach Collins’ favorite book. In the NFL, the top talent go where the money and contracts are. In college and in business - people choose the brand. There is a constant need to elevate a brand to the highest level possible so individuals select your brand over everything else.
  6. Some things happen organically – leverage them. For example, our Georgia Tech/Waffle House partnership arose from my early childhood tradition of eating at Waffle house once a week– on my first day as head coach at Tech my first stop was Waffle House. I tweeted a photo from my stop and our partnership started. Now we have a Waffle House Wednesdays video series with coaches visiting area Waffle House locations.
  7. Influencer marketing matters – getting folks interested and engaged matters for your brand. You can’t always predict what will go viral, but when it does, leverage it.
  8. Look for effort in your team members. Many things can be taught or learned but effort, grit, and relentless pursuit are self-inherent and traits I seek in my players. Reward and recognize effort – strive to be a culture built on effort and reward it.
  9. Create an environment where your team can thrive. My first responsibility as a coach is to love our players and put them in an environment and culture where they can develop in every single area of their lives. We focus on our players being G.R.E.A.T. – Grit, Relentless Effort, Accountability, and Toughness.
  10. Great leaders make for great teammates. You can never be a great leader unless you are a great teammate. 

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