What Does It Take To Be A True Leader?


Head Coach Mike Tomlin had to have been crushed by falling short in last night’s Super Bowl XLV game. However, one small act shows his character and leadership abilities.

He was the first to arrive at the Pittsburgh Steelers locker room. But, rather than going in, he stopped at the door and waited for each of his players to get there. He shook each of his player’s hands looking them in the eye each time. This couldn’t have been easy for him. With multiple on-lookers and long gaps between arriving groups of players. He was there a good 8 minutes (or so) making sure he didn’t miss anyone.

It is no wonder that “unified” is the best way to describe the Steelers moribund locker room after the devastating loss to the Green Bay Packers. At least three different Steelers expressed their “love” for their teammates explaining they’d do anything for them. I didn’t hear one player point a finger at another. This kind of well-built team only comes when you have a true leader at the helm.

Tomlin’s small gesture speaks volumes as to his ability to build a cohesive and effective team.

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7 Comments. Leave new

  • ImpudentObserver
    February 27, 2011 7:11 pm

    I was not aware that Tomlin had done this. Thanks for pointing it out and for rightfully noting how it was an act of a true leader.
    I’m sure Tomlin has talked to his team about showing great character just as much after a major loss as you would after a victory. In this case, he also walked the walk.

    • ImpudentObserver,

      I proud that I was the only reporter at the Super Bowl who caught this special moment and reported on it.

      I am glad you enjoyed it.

      Having been in the Steelers locker room after the game, I can tell you that every player loved playing for Tomlin and loved his teammates. No one pointed a finger despite the loss. It was very impressive.

      Thanks for your comment.



  • Agreed. Mike has done a great job with the Steelers and his young age only makes those accomplishments more impressive!

  • Coach Tomlin has put together a winning team and it’s really no surprise. He’s a quality leader and a good person as well. You can tell just by looking at him.

    I liked his comment when asked what his thoughts were on the loss. He said “There are no moral victories.” The Steelers will be around for years to come with a quality football team.

    • Ticket Quota,

      Great quote. Thanks for sharing.

      Another impressive thing about Tomlin is his success in light of his young age. He is the first and second youngest NFL coach to lead his team to a Super Bowl.



  • Matt – Well spoken. Entrepreneurs and business owners sometimes miss the opportunities like this to be true leaders of their teams. “Too busy” is often the excuse. But for Tomlin to find the time in that post game confusion, put aside his own feelings and greet those guys individually – what could be more like a leader? What can we do in our daily lives to look for opportunities like that to become better leaders?

    • Erick

      Thanks for your kind comment. You are right. If we look for those opportunities, they will present themselves and allow one to build a stronger organization.

      Matthew Weiss


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