Coastal Carolina head coach (and TD AMERITRADE chairman) Joe Moglia has had an amazing two years. He took a promising, but underperforming, college football team, and turned them into repeat division champions in his first year as head coach. Before becoming the head coach at Coastal Carolina, Joe was the CEO and chairman of TD AMERITRADE, where he led the company from a market value of $700 million to $10 billion.
At the heart of his system is something he calls simply, "Be a Man."
I was delighted when AXS CEO Troy McClain brought up this fascinating leader during one of our discussions about Proven Success. In the interview below, Joe describes exactly what the BAM philosophy is all about, and how others can achieve greater success in their own lives and careers.
Natalie Pace: What is your Be a Man philosophy all about?Joe Moglia: It's about standing on your own two feet and learning to take responsibility for yourself. It has nothing to do with gender. It has everything to do with being a great leader. A great leader has a respect for others and cares about other people in his or her charge. NP: What are your BAM expectations of your team?JM: Everybody on our team is somebody's son or brother. We expect our guys, coaches as well, to live up to that responsibility to their family. Not just on the football field, but in the classroom, and your behavior on and off campus. NP: It's one thing to say "BAM!" and another to turn a losing team into winners. How did you inspire that turnaround in just two years? Are they receiving extra help? Are you bringing in extra resources? JM: Remember: We did the same thing in the business world. It was the exact same philosophy. You have to implement a plan. You have to implement a strategy. You have to have a mission. Most people's mission in the business world is, "We want to be the best blah blah blah at whatever we do." At Ameritrade, our mission was that we were going to bring financial literacy to everybody in this country. It was aspirational. But it also wasn't about us. It was about our clients. Our mission at Coastal Carolina is that we're going to put a team on the field that anyone associated with Coastal is going to be proud of. While winning is an important part of that, it also means that you never, ever, ever take the play off. You always give it 100% of everything you have. This is not just football. This is in the classroom. We have incredible resources to help our athletes at Coastal. But if the guys are not even going to class, we don't want them to use those resources. They've got to go to class. They've got to live up to the responsibility and we'll do everything we can to help them. NP: What other tricks are up your sleeve to help your players achieve greater heights on and off of the field?JM: There are three ways that anybody learns. It's not about how we teach things or explain things, it's about how they learn. You can learn kinesthetically, by touching and feeling. You can do it through audio and through visual. All of our guys, including our coaches, take tests, so we know what kind of learner he is. If you are a kinesthetic learner and the coach is explaining something to you that you don't quite understand, instead of saying, "Coach, could you explain that again," you say, "Coach, instead of just explaining that, would you mind showing me." In our meetings, our coaches have our players explain to the other players, and to the coaches, what their responsibility is and why in a particular call or a particular play. NP: How does someone step up and take responsibility?JM: We talk about spiritual soundness. We talk about dedication. We talk about courage. We talk about love. The commitment to the well-being of others. Truly understanding that and getting that is what separates a good leader from a great leader. It helps a boy become a man. That's what helps a girl become a woman.
NP contnues: I just learned that as a kid, you were in a gang. Does your experience on the street give you more of a connection, and maybe even more respect, from the players? Read the rest of this fascinating interview at Thanks again to Troy McClain for bringing uo this fascinating topic. It deserves further exploration.