Archive for leadership

What’s your legacy going to be?

As a resident of New England for the last 6.5 years, I have come to despise the Indianapolis Colts.  Patriots vs Colts is well on its way to becoming the best rivalry in football.

On the other hand, I have become a HUGE fan and admirer of Tony Dungy. And my admiration goes FAR beyond the fact that he was the first African American to coach a SuperBowl winner. My admiration is for the legacy he’s established as leader and a man of  God.

As a leader, he’s not only responsible for recruiting effective coaches of color, he’s responsible for mentoring some of the most successful coaches leading their respective teams. His legacy as a leader includes a list of the who’s who in head coaching. Herm Edwards, Ron Meeks, Jim Caldwell, Lovie Smith and Mike Tomlin are people who have taken their cues DIRECTLY from Tony Dungy on a personal level. All of them have been hired by him and mentored by him.  He has generally produced effective leaders. Edwards, Smith and Tomlin have led successful teams to the playoffs – Smith to the SuperBowl (where he lost to his mentor’s Colts) and Tomlin is coaching the SuperBowl favorites this year. Meeks led a GREAT defense in Indy and Jim Caldwell was the assistant head coach there (we’ll see how he does this year).

Then, he proved you can be strong in your faith and lead a football team to victory. He’s famous for being the coach who NEVER cusses at his team and doesn’t allow it in the locker room! Check out this quote from Dungy when talking about his mentee Lovie Smith before they coached against each other in the SuperBowl:

I really wanted to show people you can win all kinds of ways. I always coached the way I’ve wanted to be coached. I know Lovie has done the same thing. For guys to have success where it maybe goes against the grain, against the culture … I know I probably didn’t get a couple of jobs in my career because people could not see my personality or the way I was going to do it … For your faith to be more important than your job, for your family to be more important than that job … We all know that’s the way it should be, but we’re afraid to say that sometimes. Lovie’s not afraid to say it and I’m not afraid to say it.”

His legacy will be one of strong leadership, he developed other strong leaders and showed the world that you can be the best without acting like the rest. He showed you can be effective without losing your soul in the process. He showed people you don’t have to abandon your convictions so that you can succeed. Not only did he display it, he duplicated it in others.

You may not be into sports. You may never have to lead millionare athletes to victory. But you do have the chance to leave a legacy. Your children, the people who attend your church, the people on your sports team, the people on your cheerleading squad, your closest friends or the people who just look up to you – they are all in position to be the testament of your legacy.

What’s your legacy going to be?