Knowing The Rules Is Important: Super Bowl LVIII Edition

Image Text: "New on the Blog" in white letters with yellow highlight and then "Knowing The Rules Is Important: Super Bowl LVIII Edition" in blue letters with white highlight. All over a picture of Kyle Shanahan, head coach for the San Francisco 49ers, taken after they lost the Super Bowl to the Kansas City Chiefs in February 2024.

knowing the rules is important

Dr. Kristen is hopping on the blog today to talk about the rather obvious idea that knowing the rules is important:

In sports, as in life, knowing the rules is important. And yet, at the Super Bowl, the San Francisco 49ers did not know the new rules for overtime play.

In a widely reported story, this became abundantly clear. “You know what? I didn’t even realize the playoff rules were different in overtime,” 49ers full back Kyle Juszczyk told reporters. He went on to add: “I assume you just want the ball to score a touchdown and win. I guess that’s not the case. I don’t totally know the strategy there. We hadn’t talked about it, no.”

Please let that sink in.

On the biggest stage of their profession, in the biggest game of their profession, in the biggest moment of that game – they didn’t know the rules.

Your Job As A Leader

That, friends, is a failure of leadership.

As a leader, your job is to make sure that your folks can do their job. You keep them safe, informed, and supported. In sending his players out into overtime without the necessary knowledge, Kyle Shanahan set his players up for failure – via a decision that mystified every one I’ve talked to.

My guess is that you’re not a professional American football coach, or maybe a professional sports coach of any kind – but you are a leader. You have folks who rely on you to keep them safe, informed, and supported. Your employees, your children, etc.

Are there rules you need to stay abreast of? What about policy changes? Or a new marketing plan?

I’m sure there are. Knowing the rules is important, y’all, and it’s essential to good leadership. I encourage you to learn from Kyle Shanahan’s poor planning and communicate it all clearly so that you don’t hand the win to someone else.


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