Being Bill Belichick: Talent Evaluation and the Personal Win

By / 11 months ago

I don’t particularly care for New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick. The distressed hooded sweatshirt with the DIY sleeve removal. The self-righteous disdain for the media. And, of course, the cheating.

I don’t care for him, but I respect him. After 15 years in New England, Billy Boy has only one losing season, 175 wins (against 65 losses), with six Super Bowl appearances and four rings.

There’s something big that LBM dealers can learn from Belichick’s brilliance as a coach and general manager. As GM, he’s done a remarkable job snagging key players in late rounds of the draft. I’ll spare you the NFL nerd analysis involving all the Belichick steals and simply note two players from last year’s Super Bowl championship squad: Quarterback Tom Brady (drafted in the 6th Round) and Wide Receiver Julian Edelman (7th).

GMs know each of the seven rounds in the annual NFL draft has quality players who will become starters somewhere. The challenge is in the preparation—gathering enough information in order to determine which college kids will help your team win.

Here’s where LBM dealers can take note: When preparing for your prospective employees, don’t overlook the personal wins involved. Personal preparation is the analysis done on the individuals—identifying the personal motivations for the players involved. Personal preparation answers, “What’s in it for me?”

To Give Opportunity, Assume Risk
When considering your personal preparation, consider this story of a late round draft pick. Years ago, a tenured area construction manager, we’ll call him Denny, was leading the purchasing efforts for a new, high profile community. Understanding his firm relied upon one large sewer and water contractor, Denny began coaching Kevin, a young entrepreneur who recently purchased his own backhoe.

Kevin was hard working, ambitious and kind—attributes that made Denny personally invested in his success. Denny gave Kevin an opportunity. If Kevin performed well on the first 25 homes, Denny promised, he’d earn the right to build the rest.

Denny was willing to accept this risk for three reasons: Denny liked Kevin and believed he could succeed; Denny got a smoking-hot deal on this work as Kevin was willing to labor near cost; and the company needed more options when signing sewer and water contractors to keep division-wide pricing competitive.

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Bradley Hartmann

Bradley Hartmann is El Presidente at Red Angle, Inc. and the author of Behind Your Back. To learn more, contact him at, or visit