3 Simple Leadership Lessons From Frank Beamer

Frank Beamer Chick-fil-A Bowl - Virginia Tech v Tennessee

Genius is making the complicated simple, not the simple complicated.

Whether it is pride, insecurity, or our natural default mode as leaders, we tend to over-analyze things in our lives.  The result becomes relationships and tasks that are needlessly complicated.  As a ministry consultant, I spend much time talking leaders through a process that takes complex ideas and reduces those ideas to practical learnings that can be easily grasped and applied.

On Labor Day, the Virginia Tech Hokies, led by their head coach of 24 years Frank Beamer, will face the Boise St. Broncos in the weekend’s biggest game.  While reading an article on Coach Beamer in the September 3rd edition of the USA TodayI noticed a strong relationship between simplicity and succesful leadership.  Here is what I discovered:

  1. The Value of Stability – I love the phrase “bloom where you’re planted”.  Beamer grew up less than 100 miles from the VT campus where he attended college.  As mentioned before, he has now been the school’s head coach for almost a quarter-century.  Leaders will often feel that the grass will be greener on the other side.  Many times the opposite is true.  Instead of taking another option, start building something significant where you already are.
  2. The Value of Continuity – Assistant coaches Bud Foster and Billy Hite have been with Beamer his entire tenure at VT.  How has Beamer kept his inner-circle together so long?  You start by hiring good people.  You pay them well.  You let them do their jobs.  Finally, you provide them opportunities to shine.  In a move that is becoming increasingly rare, Beamer lets his assistants talk to the media for example.  Leaders, are you treating those closest to you in a similar fashion?
  3. The Value of Perspective – Frank Beamer was burned in a fire as a child and subsequently faced over 30 operations.  In all our professional lives, he have a series of victories and defeats.  However, going through such a traumatic experience early in life puts the daily ups-and-downs we experience in their proper perspective.  Tech primarily recruits within a six-hour drive of Blacksburg so parents can see their children play.  Shared experiences in the context of family is what’s important.

The Value of Stability.  The Value of Continuity.  The Value of Perspective.  Leaders, are you complicating things in your life and organization or are you embracing simplicity?  Oh, and look for the Virginia Tech to simply beat Boise St 26-17.

To read more about the incredible leadership of Frank Beamer, click here.

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About Brian Dodd on Leadership

I am a church stewardship and leadership consultant for INJOY Stewardship Solutions. This blog combines my personal passions of church, sports, pop culture and family into a single leadership resource. I trust your time on this site will create conversations and add value to your life.

12 Responses to “3 Simple Leadership Lessons From Frank Beamer”

  1. I like this page! I’ll tell my friends about it and come again another time!!

  2. JustDiii RT @rlalita “@briankdodd: 3 Simple #Leadership Lessons From Frank Beamer http://wp.me/pVReH-pe is a must read for #VTech #Virginia

  3. rlalita “@briankdodd: 3 Simple #Leadership Lessons From Frank Beamer http://wp.me/pVReH-pe is a must read for #VTech #Virginia

  4. Great writing, been looking for something like that?!?

  5. Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

  6. Keep up the good work, I like your writing.

  7. Sorry, taking leadership ;lessons from the man who brought us Michael and Marcus Vick is like taking lessons on marital fideltiy from Bill Clinton.

    • Tammy,

      Thanks for the comments. It’s tough to find a college football coach with 24 years experience who do not have some questionable characters in their program. I love Mark Richt but Georgia had 9 arrests this past summer. Jim Tressell gave us Maurice Clarett. I certainly appreciate your thoughts but it’s tough to find someone.

      Which college coach’s leadership do you appreciate?


  8. Hey, great thoughts Brian. And thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog too. I love the cross-pollenation.

    My passion as a pastor and teacher is to boil down the complex until it’s simple and clear. I read once that Charles Ryrie (Ryrie Study Bible guy) used to teach kindergarten Sunday School. His explanation? “If I can’t explain it to them, I don’t understand it myself.” Nice.

  9. jakesledge RT @BrianKDodd: For a stronger marriage… http://wp.me/pVReH-oZ

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