Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Winning isn't everything. It's the only thing, apparently.

In which case, please tell me your favorite movie of last year. Then tell me which movie won the Oscar.

We (are told to) revere winning above all things, yet sometimes it can be merely a relief, a reward for forbearance, as well as skill. 

So as you prepare for the last games before the Super Bowl, please watch these two videos from last week's NFL Divisional Games.

Well, from after two of those games.

In the red corner, here's Bill Belichick addressing his team after their sadly fortunate, miserably prosaic victory over the Los Angeles Chargers. (Disclosure: I'm a Chargers fan.)

Be moved by how he addresses his team, raising them to raptures by appealing to their spirits.

Be transported by all the, um, handshakes and polite head-nods. 

Surely you'll have tears in your eyes as Belichick says:

Congratulations, men. That's a good week of preparation. We played a lot of good football. Just keep doing what we're doing. OK. Keep getting better each week and expect the competition to get better this week.

Belichick is said to be one of the more ruthless coaches, not one for the touchy, the feely or even the kneely.

His press conferences can verge on the contemptuous. Some of his former players describe an entirely unpleasant time playing for his Patriots.

Defensive end Cassius Marsh, for example, mused that he thought about giving up football "because I hated it that much."

This isn't to suggest that Belichick is a terrible leader or even a terrible human being. It's just that being in his orbit is all what they call business.

Let's turn to the blue corner and the Philadelphia Eagles coach, Doug Pederson.

His team lost painfully against the New Orleans Saints last weekend.

A catch or two went astray. The game could have turned toward the Eagles.

Pederson could have gone to the locker room and raged, thrown a few inanimate objects, railed against the officials.

Instead, he stood outside and waited for his players to come off the field. All of them.

He was deeply upset. Tears lurked and likely flowed. 

Yet he felt his job as a leader was to hug his players and show them that he cared as much as they did and that he was with them in defeat, as well as victory.

You'll tell me winning requires ruthlessness. Especially winning with regularity.

The Patriots seem to be in the Super Bowl as often as mediocre half-time performers. 

You'll tell me that all this emotional intelligence nonsense is typical of our soft, modern age.

Leadership isn't about being nice, you'll insist. It isn't about caring. It's about getting results.

I'll nod, of course.

Then I'll tell you how I was sitting in a plane watching the Super Bowl last year. 

When the winning team delivered the final blow, I leaped out of my seat and cheered because the good team one, the one that wasn't all business.

I wasn't alone.

The winning coach that day? Doug Pederson. The loser? Bill Belichick.

Published on: Jan 20, 2019