Steve Sabol said this. You may be wondering who Steve Sabol is. Steve and his dad Ed, are two of the guys given heaping credit for changing the way the world watches football and in the process, making the football the most popular sport in North America.
NFL Hall of Fame
I bring this up because Ed was just inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. On the NFL network, they’ve been airing 1 hour documentaries on this years inductees which, along with Ed, include Deion Sanders, Marshall Faulk, Shannon Sharpe, Richard Dent, Chris Hanburger and Les Richter.
Leadership is the liberation of Talent
While watching the Ed Sabol special, I couldn’t help but think of how his successful approach to filmmaking could be applied to business. I learned that their business NFL Films was born when Ed bought the rights to record an NFL championship game in 1962 for $3000.
I learned that Ed and his son Steve were innovators. They recorded football in a way that had never been done before.
Visually speaking, NFL Films was revolutionary. They were the first film crew to take field level close-ups of players faces, bloodied fingers on the ground, the breath of lineman, the mud on the uniforms and a spiraling ball sailing through the air. They were the first to film entire games in slow motion so as to accentuate the incredible athleticism of the players.
To compliment their visuals, they changed the sound of the game. Ed and Steve hired John Facenda who became the signature voice of their films. The pair miked players and coaches during the game to give the game itself a voice. They overlayed voices and interviews on the visuals. Then they hired composers like Syd Dale to give the final product a Hollywood soundtrack.
The father and son team hired one of the first female executives in America. They place women on the sidelines at at time when there weren’t even female washrooms for these women to use.
If I understand Steve correctly, NFL Films culture is all about passion and confidence. Their management style is clearly successful and it should be emulated. Steve and Ed hired really talented people to work hard and be innovative. Steve and Ed were confident that the way they communicated their vision made it clear that NFL Films demanded quality and innovation. Rather than suppressing a persons abilities, they fostered an environment of experimentation in the pursuit of greatness.
What ways is your company bringing the best out in you? If you’re an owner, what do you do to make your staff better?
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