Football Legends on Leadership

attitude leadership winning Sep 25, 2021

One of my favorite movie scenes is this clip from the movie Rudy.  I love how the players and fans rally to influence the coach to put Rudy in the game.  And I love how he leads with heart and tenacity.  It's how we should all live.

If you are a fan of leadership, then you ought to be a fan of football. Seriously!  While football may just be a game to most, there are many parallels to what it takes to live and lead effectively at home and in business;  especially college or playoff football. Football at that level reflects all the critical elements of leadership.  Consider you can find many of John Maxwell's 21 Laws of Leadership exemplified in a top 20 or playoff football team.  You'll see the law of the lid, the law of momentum, the law of teamwork, and so many more.

For many, the best part of football on the calendar is not just the Super Bowl, but college bowl games and the playoffs for the teams trying to go further. Invariably what you find is that the these teams that are competing got there because of one thing – leadership.  And the two teams that win their respective conference championships, will invariably reflect the top teams who not only put more points on the board, but lead more effectively – both on the field and off the field -- consistently.

As you reflect on the game also reflect on your own journey of leadership.  What are you doing to get to the next level too?  Consider these twenty quotes from some of the legends of the game who were leaders, both coaches and players.  Whether you are a football fan or not, you'll find some terrific value in these quotes to help you lead.

Let me know which one you like the best!

  1. “We are stronger together than we are alone.”
    ― Walter Payton, Chicago Bears (1975-1987)
  2. “Success demands singleness of purpose.”
    -- Vince Lombardi, Head Coach Green Bay Packers (1959-67)
  3. “If you want to win, do the ordinary things better than anyone else...”
    -- Chuck Noll, Head Coach Pittsburgh Steelers (1969-91)
  4. "It's not the SIZE of the dog in the fight, but the size of the FIGHT in the dog".
    - Archie Griffin, Cincinnati Bengals (1976-1982)
  5. “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”
    -- Lou Holtz, Head coach, New York Jets (1976)
  6. “On a team, it’s not the strength of the individual players, but it is the strength of the unit and how they all function together.”
    -- Bill Belichick, Head Coach New England Patriots (2000-Present)
  7. "To reach your own goals and dreams, you must learn how to assist others in reaching theirs."
    -- Joe Gibbs, Head Coach Washing Redskins (1981-92, 2004-07)
  8. "A CHAMPION is simply someone who did NOT give up when they wanted to."
    -- Tom Landry, Dallas Cowboys (1960–88)
  9. "It's not whether you get knocked DOWN, it's whether you get UP."
    - Vince Lombardi, Head Coach Green Bay Packers (1959-67)
  10. “Try not to do too many things at once. Know what you want... Persevere and get it done.”
    -- George Allen, Head Coach Washington Redskins (1971-77)
  11. "Excuses are the tools of the incompetent."
    -- Mike Tomlin, Head Coach, Pittsburgh Steelers (2007-Present)
  12. "The secret to success is good leadership, and good leadership is all about making the lives of your team members or workers better."
    -- Tony Dungy, Head Coach Indianapolis Colts (2002–2008)
  13. "A winning effort begins with preparation.”
    – Joe Gibbs, Head Coach Washington Redskins (1981-92, 2004-07)
  14. “Stay focused. Your start does not determine how you’re going to finish.”
    -- Herm Edwards, Head Coach New York Jets (2001-05), Kansas City Chiefs (2006-08)
  15. “Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it.”
    -- George S. Halas, Head Coach Chicago Bears (1933-42, 1946-55, 1958-67)
  16. "Today I will do what others WON'T, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others CAN'T"
    -- Jerry Rice, Hall of Fame Player, San Francisco 49ers
  17. “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.”
    -- Jimmy Johnson, Head coach, Dallas Cowboys (1989-93)
  18. "We would ACCOMPLISH many more things if we did not think of them as IMPOSSIBLE."
    -- Vince Lombardi, Head Coach Green Bay Packers (1959-67)
  19. "If you're not gonna go ALL the way, why go at ALL?"
    -- Joe Namath, New York Jets
  20. “If you don’t believe in yourself why is anyone else going to believe in you?”
    – Tom Brady, New England Patriots

Which quotes are your favorites? 

Final Challenge

Pretend today is game day, and you are Rudy on the sideline. Are you prepared?  Are you ready?   The Coach upstairs wants you in.  How will you be led today, and how will you lead in return?



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