Monthly Archives: January 2011

Lombardi – Success a matter of…

The difference between a successful person and others
is not a lack of strength;
not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.
~ Vincent T. Lombardi

As the Packers prepare to play in the Super Bowl in just over a week I thought it would be fun to think about one of the many great quotes regarding success spoken by the legendary, Hall-of-Fame coach of the Packers. Vince Lombardi by all accounts was one of the greatest “winners” in the modern day. He was not a huge man. He did not coach in an era of multi-million dollar contracts for professional coaches. He came from ordinary roots, but he was no ordinary man.

His wisdom came from a combination of practical life experience, a very strong faith, and time spent at West Point as an assistant coach. When he became the head coach in Green Bay he was determined to make a difference in the face of cultural norms he saw as wrong – namely Jim Crow laws which discriminated on a basis of race and heritage. His strong will to see injustice righted in any area he had influence over made a tangible difference in the lives of his players and in an entire city.

He was a man of incredibly strong will and discipline. Yet, it wasn’t doing the remarkable which made him a success, it was doing the ordinary, extraordinarily well. Ordinary discipline to execute a play on the football field. Ordinary common decency to another human off the field. He was successful because he made the decision to positively influence situations where ever he could. Worldly success followed, but Lombardi was a success even without all the trophies and accolades.

You can be too. It is not about what you don’t have – strength, knowledge, wealth, etc. Success is about what you do have – a will to do the right thing simply because it is the right thing. What decision can you make today that will move you one step further down the road to success? Change your trajectory today.


Roadblock to Success – Who Gets the Credit

It is amazing what you can accomplish
if you do not care who gets the credit.
~ Harry S. Truman

Competition brings out the best in people. Competition brings out the worst in people. Both statements are equally true. In our culture which desires instantaneous gratification and longs for even 30 seconds of fame it is amazing who gets thrown under the bus in the name of personal gain. It seems that negative publicity is far greater than no publicity at all.

The desire of individuals to be acknowledged, rewarded, promoted often gets in the way of group success. No one wants to go “all in” with their ideas, energy, creativity unless in the end they will be credited for their contribution. Sadly, no one have ever succeeded alone. No matter how much one would like to claim individual accomplishment and success, we all needed help, collaboration, support, encouragement along the way.

Ironically, at each stop of “success” on our life’s journey, there is a real sense of satisfaction that comes with sharing the credit for our accomplishments. Celebrating individually is empty and lonely – kind of like ringing in the New Year by yourself in the penthouse suite. It might seem like a “sign you’ve arrived” but getting there alone is more devastating than never having arrived.

What is one decision you can make today that will expand your circle of success? What is one area where you can make clear progress into the future by not caring who gets the credit? Give someone a call. Send an email. Make that decision and begin to change your trajectory today.

Failure – Simply Steps Toward Success

Success consists of going from failure to failure
without loss of enthusiasm.
~Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill is one of the most enigmatic figures of 20th Century history in the Western World. Depending on what you read about him and who wrote it he could be portrayed as a drunken boar or a brilliant leader. Regardless of how your historical looking glass views him, the wisdom in his insight should lay a foundation for our view of both success and failure.

In the tenuous moments of the Second World War, European survival hinged on the pure guts of the British people. Churchill led that country and the rest of the world through some of the darkest days with pure courage and resolve. Each of the “darkest days” in our lives can only be overcome by the same courage and the same resolve.

Temporary failures cannot steal your enthusiasm, your zeal for life, your hope. Choose to see them as the merely the steps you climb on your journey to success.

How does your success taste?

Success without honor is an unseasoned dish;
it will satisfy your hunger, but it won’t taste good.

~Joe Paterno

Who said football coaches were all a bunch of thick-skulled brutes? The longest-standing college football coach in the United States and the record-holder for most career wins, Joe Paterno has been around the block a few times. He has seen everything about competition,, the good, the bad, the ugly. He has lived through some of the world’s most incredible changes. It is hard to imagine all the ways his job is different that when we started at Penn State back in 1966.

Despite all the change, the wisdom in his insight remains the same for eternity. We all know there is a “right way” and “wrong way” to do things. Success which compromises our honor, our integrity, our fundamental human essence never satisfies completely. It grows from an unseasoned dish to a rotten one in the pit of our soul, not only not satisfying but eventually sickening.

How are your choices today allowing you to enjoy your success like a gourmet meal? You are not a victim. Your choices and your relationships will determine who you will be. How are you choosing?