Book Review

Gridiron Leadership

Winning Strategies and Breakthrough Tactics

by Evan H. Offstein, Jason Morwick and Scott W. Griffith, Praeger Publishers, Santa Barbara, Calif., 2009, 183 pp. with index, $34.95 hardcover

Gridiron Leadership: Winning Strategies and Breakthrough Tactics provides a unique look into two areas that many feel passionate about — effective leadership and football.

The authors, two of whom are West Point graduates (Offstein and Morwick) along with an accomplished law enforcement officer, use football stories about characters ranging from Bill Belichick to Vince Lombardi to illustrate the many parallels between the game and good leadership practice. As the authors state, “The fundamentals of leadership don’t change, regardless of the landscape.”

Throughout the book, many leadership lessons are highlighted in the “moving the chains” section and summarized again at the end of each chapter in the “tip drill.” Both sections make it easy for the reader to scan a chapter and pull out specific stories and lessons.

For instance, have you ever thought about how the NFL draft of collegiate players might provide insight when determining the appropriate time to change the direction of a program in your district? Or how the San Francisco 49ers’ offense might guide you when you hire a new administrator?

Chances are, after reading this book, the next time you settle in to watch your favorite football team, you will find yourself thinking not only about the game, but about the leadership lessons taking place with each play.

Reviewed by Justin B. Henry, superintendent, Southeast of Saline School District, Gypsum, Kan.