Ravens coach talks business

Baltimore Ravens Head Coach Brian Billick gave students tips on leadership strategies and lifelong success Thursday morning in professor Lisa Delpy Neirotti’s sports management and marketing classes. About 30 students came to the event, which was held in a Hall of Government classroom and open to all students.

Billick spoke of the importance of possessing a passion and love for the career students select.

“Whatever field you select, your happiness is ultimately dependent upon the level of happiness you receive from that job,” Billick said. “In football, eventually you will make all of the money that you need. What keeps the players and coaches around, after money is no longer an issue, is the passion that they hold for the game and their desire to be the best.”

Billick gave the students advice, revealing the business sense and three-step guide to professional success that he has put to work in his career in the NFL. He coached the Ravens to their first Superbowl win in 2001 against the Giants.

“In any business organization, employees and employers must understand and appreciate the scope of each others’ responsibilities,” he said. “Also, no matter what the case is, one can never put others in the organization at risk. What is good for the individual must be beneficial for the entire team.”

Billick spoke at length about his philosophy of business and spent most of the hour-long speech defining success.

“You can never allow others to become the barometer for your personal success,” Billick said. “You must be able to measure your own success and recognize your achievements.”

Billick explained that to achieve success on the field it is necessary to maintain a healthy balance between veterans and youth, so that the veteran core will be able to teach and guide the young employees. Once the youth become veterans, the cycle can continue.

Billick discussed teams in the National Football League that rarely have good season records.

“When teams are unsuccessful for seven or 10 years straight, management needs to stop hiring and firing and pointing the finger at others. They should instead reevaluate themselves and look at the way they are hiring their personnel,” Billick said. “It is like a man who gets married seven times. The marriage failure may not completely be his fault, but he may want to change the type of women he is choosing and how he is selecting them.”

“I like to include guest speakers such as Coach Billick into the curriculum,” Professor Neirotti said. “It’s important for the students to learn from people with such experience.”

Billick’s hour-long speech ended with a 15-minute question-and-answer forum. Students asked many questions in the 15-minute session following his lecture.

“I am very impressed with the students,” Billick said. “The students here are very energetic and enthusiastic.”

Toward the end of his visit, Billick offered job advice to the attentive crowd.

“Employers are always looking for energetic, proactive, self-starting leaders,” said Billick. “These are the specific qualities that really stand
out and make an impact during an interview with a potential employer.”

Billick stayed after his speech to answer more questions, talk to students about internships and take pictures.

“Having coach Billick in was really a great experience,” senior Mike Shapiro said. “It is always entertaining and captivating to listen and learn from someone who is truly an expert in his field.”

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