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Pesky Reporters: How to Get Rid of Them

Top-tier college football coaches all of sudden seem to be suffering from a bad outbreak of media phobia.

Most severely affected: Steve Spurrier of South Carolina and Mark Dantonio of Michigan State.

Spurrier shut down a news conference the other day after giving a mere five-minute monologue, ending with: “I believe that covers it all. I don’t need to take questions.”

Dantonio arguably went one better, providing only 60 seconds of commentary followed by a handful of three to four-word answers , ending each time with “Next question.” Here’s the video.

Guys: There’s an even better way of avoiding the media. Don’t turn up to news conferences at all. Here’s all you need to do:

1- Get explicit permission from your bosses, your board of directors etc. that you don’t need to
engage constructively with the media

2- Maintain a winning record over many years that is clearly among the best in your league

With those two elements in place, you’re bullet proof. Even the most powerful media outlets will be forced to cower in your grumpy wake. If you really are that consistently successful, there will always be a team somewhere that will give you a job, no matter how media phobic you are.
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Low-ego leadership in the NFL

In these post (?) credit crisis times, there is a growing fashion for low-ego leaders who quietly go about the business of creating successful organisations. For them, gone are the grandiose cover story profiles and massive media conferences.

I happen to have picked up for my summer reading a biography of a leader who could serve as an excellent role model for these aspirationally modest leaders. It’s Bill Belichick, considered by many to be the most successful American Football coach of the modern, more relentlessly competitive era. Belichick coached the New England Patriots to four Super Bowls. He achieved victories in Super Bowl 2001, 2003 and 2004 and second place in 2007. He was named the NFL Coach of the Year for the 2003, 2007 and 2010 seasons.

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