Coach Bill Snyder’s 16 Goals for Success

December 24, 2012

I’m a sucker for leadership philosophies embraced by successful athletics coaches. Whether it’s Coack K on teamwork or Coach Burton on developing high school kids, I always come away with something powerful and enriching. I think the reason is that athletics provides one of the greatest leadership development opportunities out there because players learn to work as a team toward a common goal in a competitive environment. In short, it’s leadership development training for life.

Coach Bill Snyder

If you follow college football at all, you might have been surprised when Kansas State University climbed to #1 in the BCS Poll at one point this football season. After a disappointing loss to Baylor, they’ll compete with Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl on January 3. When I was in high school, several of my teammates traveled to Manhattan, KS to partake in Bill Snyder’s summer football camp. They came back with raving reviews. My college team is actually the University of Kansas, but it’s impossible for me to ignore the powerful leadership foundation – and results – KSU head coach Bill Snyder has instilled in his program since 1989, when he took over the “worst NCAA Division 1 football program on planet Earth.” Whether or not you are a KSU fan, a football fan, or a fan of athletics at all, I believe there is something powerful each of us can take away from Snyder’s 16 Goals for Success. I’d like to share them with you.

Please don’t miss the most important lesson I take from Snyder’s 16 Goals for Success: that success starts with commitment and ends with responsibility (Tweet). And then there’s the inclusivity of leadership in goal #15 that EVERYONE can set an example.

You can read about Coach Snyder’s goals in his own words in his book They Said It Couldn’t Be Done. Here’s the list:

1. Commitment

To common goals and to being successful.

2. Unselfishness

There is no “I” in TEAM.

3. Unity

Come together as never before.

4. Improve

Everyday… as a player, person, and student.

5. Be tough

Mentally and physically.

6. Self-discipline

Do it right, don’t accept less.

7. Great effort

8. Enthusiasm

9. Eliminate Mistakes

Don’t beat yourself.

10. Never give up

11. Don’t accept losing

If you do so one time, it will be easy to do so for the rest of your life.

12. No self-limitations

Expect more of yourself.

13. Expect to win

And truly believe we will.

14. Consistency

Your very, very best every time.

15. Leadership

Everyone can set an example.

16. Responsibility

You are responsible for your own performance.

For more information on Coach Bill Snyder’s 16 Goals for Success, visit the official website here.

What are your goals for success?

Nathan Magnuson is a leadership consultant, coach, trainer and thought leader.  Receive his ebook Trusted Leadership Advisor by subscribing to his website or   follow him on Twitter.
  • I think consistency is one thing that’s been on my mind lately. Your very best every time – that’s what it takes. Success is rarely a one-time thing. In fact, it’s probably never that. It’s just hard work day after day.

    • Loren, as you mention that, I’m reminded of the following from Vince Lombardi (from memory):

      “Winning is not a sometimes thing, it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in awhile and you don’t do things right once in awhile. You do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.”

    • Thanks for keeping up with these posts and comments

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