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LEAD WITH INTEGRITY: A Couple Lessons From a Game (Summer)

Ethics Matters

Summer 2018

As many of you know, I played four years of college football. I am grateful for the experience because it completely funded my undergraduate education. However, I also learned several significant life, business and leadership lessons through that great experience. Let me share a couple of these lessons that continue to drive me 30 years later. “Prioritize your efforts” was one of the first and most important lessons I learned. Inspired by one of my coaches, I adopted an attitude that I would work when appropriate, play when appropriate, and rest when appropriate. Today, I know it is important for an effective leader to have a great work ethic, build some fun in the work environment, and take time to rest and recharge. We all need to work, play and rest in the correct proportions to be successful. As a leader, I encourage my teams to work hard, play hard and rest well. “Good performance creates opportunities” was another key lesson I learned from my football experience. On the first day of practice of my sophomore year, my coach pointed out that he had 26 athletes competing for four starting positions. He also told us the athletes playing in the games would be the four who perform best in practice. From that day forward, I decided to be one of the top four and the top one at my position. It worked…and it still works. I have seen in my career, and the career of others, that performing with excellence and integrity creates opportunities for leaders to grow their businesses and grow personally. Strong performance opens doors and weak performance closes them, creating opportunities for others. We all can better serve our businesses, our teams and ourselves by improving our performance. Although these are lessons I learned during my football experience, they can be applied to all leaders. How are you prioritizing your life? Is your performance helping or hurting you? If you want more of yourself, look at your prioritization and your performance. You may find some opportunity for growth within you. Until next time, Lead With Integrity!