Quote :“If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the drive, and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done…Every time a football player goes to ply his trade he’s got to play from the ground up – from the soles of his feet right up to his head. Every inch of him has to play. Some guys play with their heads. That’s O.K. You’ve got to be smart to be number one in any business. But more importantly, you’ve got to play with your heart, with every fiber of your body. If you’re lucky enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart, he’s never going to come off the field second…I believe in human decency. But I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour — his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear — is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.” Vince Lombardi
Reflection: Coach Lombardi is talking about great leadership being based on individual achievement to give your all and winning. The X factor for him in the success of a leader was to challenge yourself to have a positive mental map that focused on clear thinking, discipline, mental toughness, perfect practice and the desire to be victorious in what ever endeavor you pursue. His philosophy was reality focused based on the belief that we all choose what we do with our lives and that we are responsible for our choices. Responsibility is defined as learning to choose behaviors that satisfy our needs and, at the same time, do not deprive others of a chance to do the same. He was an assertive leader who at times pushed players to heights they did not think they could go. Yet, he was very well-respected and loved by all. He preferred players who were more self-directed and responsible for their development but showed how leaders need to respect the individual strengths of his players in finding the right formula for building a winning team.
Self-Coaching Challenge: What is your philosophy of leading? How does your philosophy compare to Vince Lombardi’s “win at any cost” but do it fairly and within the rules of the game? If you belong to a team what has been your finest hour?