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The essence of leadership

11/30/2009

One aspect that stood out over the last week was Junior Seau's behind-the-scenes impact in the Patriots' locker room. It's a topic that is covered in this ESPNBoston.com story.

The idea to write on Seau came after listening to rookie receiver Julian Edelman talk last week about how the Patriots bounced back from such a heartbreaking loss in Indianapolis. Edelman credited Seau's motivational words as helping the team come together and have a short memory.

In Bill Belichick's 10-year tenure as Patriots coach, the team has had some great leaders. Seau is high on the list.

When it comes to leadership and the Patriots, I am reminded of what Belichick said in a speaking engagement in April of 2008 at Salem State College:

"I’ve been very fortunate to coach some great players and some great people on this team – the Troy Browns, the Tedy Bruschis … right down the line. One of the things they all have in common is leadership. I get this question a lot: ‘What do you look for in leadership in your players? What is the common thread? What makes a player a good leader?’ Really, the answer is just one word: attitude. That’s what leadership is. So if a player has a good attitude, it means that he does his job, he puts the team first, he works hard, pays attention to the little details and tries to get everything right – that’s what leadership is. It could be from a rookie, it could be from a 19-year veteran like Junior Seau, it could be from anybody, regardless of what their role is on the team, whether they’re a starter, or playing on the line, or in the backfield, or covering kicks, any of that. It’s just about the attitude they bring when they walk in the room."