• Peter Miller

Continuing our Running a Championship System (RCS) series, we are joined by one the key leaders in the Packers organization, Russ Ball. Russ has a long and distinguished record in football – at both college and professional levels. His wise perspectives on leadership, collaboration, and negotiation are honed from years of experience with some of the top coaches and executives in the country.

We discussed:

1. His positive experiences as a high school football player, learning to win and be a leader.

2. The impact of his high school coach talking to Russ talking to him while they jogged around the track together.

3. Working as a strength and conditioning coach with Dave Redding. “He had a knack for finding what button he could push for each person…He knew about them…It was the relationship piece.”

4. Marty Schottenheimer: “One play at a time.”

5. The Schottenheimer coaching tree, including Tony Dungy, Bill Cowher, Bruce Arians, Howard Mudd…(see below for graphic).

6. The Schottenheimer preparation process.

7. The many roles Russ has taken on over the years, and how he’s learned through these roles.

8. The value of collaboration and communication across the whole leadership team. “Leaders can’t be everywhere and see everything.”

9. Relationships are at the heart of negotiations.

10. “Much is lost for the wont of asking.”

11. There does not have to be a winner and a loser in a negotiation.

12. Honesty in negotiation.

13. The importance of precedent.

14. “Don’t make it personal. Don’t take it personally.”

15. “It’s ok to disagree. It’s not ok to be disagreeable.”

16. Showing someone that you care enough to have a tough conversation.

17. The only thing you can control in a negotiation is preparation.

18. “If you’re so busy and you don’t ever give yourself a chance… there’s no time to take a moment for creativity.”

19. Marcus Allen’s example of work ethic and giftedness.

20. “Don’t count the time. Make the time count.”

21. What’s unique about the Packers: the ownership structure.

22. “Our responsibility is to be a productive steward of what we have.”

23. Ted Thompson’s words about the importance of the Packers to the fans.


The Marty Schottenheimer coaching tree: