A Review of Jeff Benedict’s The Dynasty
By Oren Abusch-Magder
When I failed my first patrol at Ranger School, I paused and told myself “we’re on to Cincinnati.” On September 30th 2014, the New England Patriots were drubbed 41-14 by the Kansas City Chiefs on prime time TV. Patriots head coach Bill Belichik was asked repeatedly by the press if Tom Brady would continue to start as quarterback. Belichik answered each question with the same phrase: “We’re on to Cincinnati.” The message to his team and to the world was clear: there was no looking back, just forward to next week’s opponent. The following Sunday, the Patriots upset Cincinnati and went on to win the Super Bowl that February. Since that week, I have used “we’re on to Cincinnati” as my personal mantra in order to move on from the past and stay focused on the future.
Jeff Benedict’s The Dynasty chronicles the last 25 years of the New England Patriots franchise. It follows the three individuals Benedict identified as most influential to the team’s success: owner Robert Kraft, head coach Bill Belichik, and starting quarterback Tom Brady. Together, in nineteen years, they led the Patriots to an unparalleled six Super Bowl wins, nine Super Bowl appearances, thirteen AFC Championship games, and seventeen division titles. The book offers a number of leadership lessons that have direct application to military leaders, including a caution about losing the public’s trust.