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Most colleagues, peers or friends I know who are product managers are competitive. It’s in our nature. It’s true of me too, both professionally and personally.  I love game nights with friends. Yes, the social interaction is always something to look forward to.  But I’m in it to win in!

I enjoy the challenge, especially when it leads to a win.  And I enjoy the challenge when I lose of determining why and doing better next time.  I’ve always known that competitiveness looking as far back as when I was 9 and we just moved to Florida.

My older brother adopted the Miami Dolphins, I went with Tampa Bay (I know, I know …).  My brother went with Florida, I went with Florida State. So, I am not an SEC or Georgia Bulldogs fan … and I am certainly not a Miami Hurricanes fan!  But I am a Mark Richt fan, dating back to his time at FSU.

Living in Atlanta now, it wasn’t really a surprise when UGA announced Coach Richt’s departure. It wasn’t that he did poorly, as his 9-3 record from this year demonstrates. But UGA hasn’t won anything substantial in 10 years, and that just wasn’t good enough.  But was Coach Richt a good leader?starwars

I saw this image the other (which is a prelude to an upcoming post), and I
love the essence of what it states … that leadership is both competence as well as character!  So let’s base the evaluation against the points here:


  • Ability – Coach Richt has the pedigree from his days as a player at UM, and his tenure of coaching, that has clearly demonstrated he has the ability.
  • Effectiveness – Most coaches would kill for a 74% winning record! 145-51 record over 15 years is impressive indeed.
  • Results – this is the one that hurt him. Richt himself even stated “…win the SEC and hopefully go beyond that. From that point of view, we fell short of our goals.”


  • Values – Another of Richt’s quotes sets the stage for this one … “Life is about people, not rings. Rings collect dust”.  There are countless stories of him investing in his players over the years.
  • Ethics – Most players knew the man they served under.  He was transparent, right and wrong mattered. The players respected him for that.
  • Integrity – a final story/quote from Coach Richt … “A man yesterday walking into the football complex found a $100 bill. He gave it to our receptionist. The receptionist held the money in case the person who lost it came back. It reminded me of Proverbs 20, Verse 7. The righteous lead blameless lives and blessed are their children after them. That man was my Dad who came to the office. I want to publicly say, ‘Dad, I love you and for your integrity and how you blessed me.”

By that definition, Coach Richt certainly was a good leader.  Good luck in Miami, just not against the ‘Noles!