Yes, it has made the mainstream media circuit, fostered several YouTube clips, and of course been the fodder for countless fan board rants and blog posting, so why not pile on just a bit. Regardless of where one stands, Notre Dame fan or hater (rarely is there anyone in the middle), Coach Brian Kelly was at a minimum a bit “unglued” during Saturday’s loss. Sort of sad, and yes, maybe just a bit comical.
No question, Coach Kelly is in a bit of a high pressure job. A good portion of the feedback has been supportive – folks liked to see the coach “animated” and “get in the players face”. There is also a good portion of feedback that was mortified at his behavior and loss of composure. The “how can you yell at children” and “what sort of example” line of thinking. As with all things, the reality is probably somewhere in the middle.
Yes, leaders should carry themselves in certain ways. A sense of calm, a steady hand on the tiller, the cool demeanor regardless of circumstance. That is a leader – they are above the fray. They are setting the example in times of trouble. They are the calming presence when those around them panic. However, it is a fact that there is a time and a place for everything, and sometimes, maybe not quite so publicly, or with quite the animation, but clear, concise, direct communication is required. It is a tool. Much like humor, colorful language, or other “tools” available to a leader, raw emotion can be effective at certain, select, special moments. Like anything though, a little goes a long way…use it too much and the impact is lost.
It has been fun to watch. He did flip…he really did. Sorry Coach Kelly, but I cannot help but think of a classic Will Ferrell moment…
There is a time and place for everything. In the end, it is usually best to just remember the old adage – praise in public, punish in private. Oh, and coach, it is not about when the cameras are on you…it is about much more than that…just an opinion.