Gridiron Leadership
Winning Strategies and Breakthrough Tactics
by Evan H. Offstein, Jason M. Morwick, and Scott W. Griffith
August 2009, 184pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-37817-1
$75, £58, 66€, A103
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-0-313-37818-8
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The game of football demands cohesive teamwork, seamless execution, top performance, and strong leaders and coaches. In other words, it requires just what any successful enterprise needs. Now there is remarkable new book that brings the worlds of sports and management together, teaching essential leadership and strategy lessons through the stories, language, and experience of football.

With its use of football stories, Gridiron Leadership provides a fresh, new approach to capturing and understanding the concepts and practice of leadership, strategy, and execution.

Gridiron Leadership: Winning Strategies and Breakthrough Tactics uses real moments from the worlds of professional and college football, as well as a wide range of evocative football metaphors, to dissect the craft of leadership and communicate essential management lessons. With so many leadership and strategy books sending the same messages in the same ways, this fresh approach is truly groundbreaking, using a familiar frame of reference to capture and understand the concepts and practice of leadership, strategy, and execution.

The language of sports is already common vernacular among today’s successful leaders. Gridiron Leadership uses the accessible, recognizable terminology of sports in a thoughtful, systematic way, making the connection between the culture of football and the kinds of organizational and leadership situations encountered everyday. It covers the full range of modern organizational issues, including human resources, crisis leadership, ethical leadership, strategic decision making, and organizational change. With topics covering everything from building a winning team to analyzing the needs of stakeholders, this is the playbook today’s leaders have been waiting for.


  • Includes a foreword by Pittsburgh Steelers president and co-owner, Art Rooney II
  • Presents four diagrams and illustrations that summarize leadership models
  • Offers a bibliography of approximately 100 scholarly and other citations that support the authors' view of leadership and performance
Dr. Evan Offstein, PhD, SPHR, is a former military intelligence officer. His published works include Praeger's Stand Your Ground: Building Honorable Leaders the West Point Way, as well as Making Telework Work: Leading People and Leveraging Technology for High-Impact Results, which he coauthored with Jason Morwick. A graduate of West Point and Virginia Tech's Pamplin College of Business, Offstein is a celebrated speaker and consultant whose clients include the U.S. Army, Northwestern Mutual Life, Raymond James Financial, the Maryland Transportation Authority, and Century Furniture.

Jason M. Morwick is a former Army officer and graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. He has published articles in esteemed journals such as Quality Progress, Review of Business, and Business Journal and published articles online at He is also the coauthor of Making Telework Work: Leading People and Leveraging Technology for High-Impact Results.

Scott W. Griffith, a highly accomplished leader in the field of law enforcement with over 27 years of experience, developed the leadership course entitled "Gridiron Leadership" that used the analogy of sports to teach junior law enforcement leaders the basics of leadership. His experiences as a leader and as a former college and CFL football player, combined with his image and presentation style, personify the messages contained in Gridiron Leadership.


"Gridiron Leadership: Winning Strategies and Breakthrough Tactics provides a unique look into two areas that many feel passionate about — effective leadership and football. . . . 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."—The School Administrator, August 1, 2010

"Sports and business collections alike will relish this."—Midwest Book Review, July 1, 2010

"Gridiron Leadership is a great book! A thoroughly enjoyable read (filled with self-deprecating pigskin humor), using a fun topic (football!), to teach: 'Deep lessons. Strong lessons. Lasting lessons. . .' about the deadly serious world of leadership. Read this book. You can't help but learn!'"—Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, USA (ret.)
Author, On Combat and On Killing, Director, Killology Research Group,

"One key theme that Gridiron Leadership absolutely nails is the clear delineation between true leadership and management. Most recent leadership books interchange the two, and thus miss the mark. The chapter on 'Franchise Players' is fantastic as it highlights the importance of team, stretch goals, commitment, and never shirking responsibility."—Kevin Shuba
Group President, CHEP Americas
USMA Class of 1981

"Success on the 'fields of friendly' strife requires the ability to think and execute under physical and mental stress, and playing sports forges important leadership qualities, beginning with selflessness, discipline, adaptability, teamwork, and perseverance. Gridiron Leadership takes the lessons learned between the lines and shows how we can apply them as leaders in other areas of life, from the military to government and the private sector. Written in an engaging style that makes it hard to put down, Gridiron Leadership is a 'must read' for football fans and aspiring leaders everywhere."—General Raymond T. Odierno
Commanding General, Multi-National Force—Iraq

"Great book! Gridiron Leadership is a creative blend of football, military and corporate historical vignettes that provide visual examples of leadership, applicable to any organization focused on excellence. Experienced or inexperienced, senior or junior, this book contains many fresh ideas to teach and demonstrate to leaders how to think versus what to think. Evan, Jason and Scott walk you through what it takes to build a winning organization, from the individuals assigned, to selecting your leaders and high performers, to creating the synergy in the team needed to achieve greatness. The beauty of this book is the applicability of the lessons learned to any sport, military organization, business unit, corporation or civic group."—Kenneth O. Preston
Sergeant Major of the Army

"In their book Gridiron Leadership: Winning Strategies and Breakthrough Tactics, authors Evan Offstein, Jason Morwick, and Scott Griffith explore the extent to which attributes that lead to success in sports—motivation, team work, discipline, preparation, adaptability, goal setting—are common to leaders in all fields. As a former high school and college football player, I find their ideas are not only insightful, but also directly applicable to all walks of life."—William E. "Brit" Kirwan, Chancellor, University System of Maryland, Co-Chair of Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics
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