Hey there! Here’s one leadership idea and one resource I’ve found beneficial this week:
1 idea: No 14-point plays
Every fall, hundreds of thousands of college football fans flock to the Cotton Bowl in Dallas to witness the Red River Rivalry. This iconic game is a showdown between two college football powerhouses: the University of Texas, and its most hated adversary, the Oklahoma Sooners.
This midseason spectacle is unlike any other in college football. Located in the midst of the Texas state fairgrounds, the air is thick with the smell of footlong hotdogs, fried butter, and animosity. Both teams desperately want to beat their rivals and earn a year's worth of bragging rights.
During this game in 2021, color commentator Kirk Herbstreit made a remark that I still remember. The Sooners were down two touchdowns in the first quarter, and the game was on the verge of slipping away from Oklahoma. Starting quarterback Spencer Rattler had just thrown a costly interception and was now trying to erase the deficit. As Herbstreit talked about the need for Rattler to settle down and methodically move the ball down the field, he summed up the situation succinctly: “You can't make a 14-point play.”
When I started my business five years ago, I also wanted some 14-point plays. I thought that my ticket to success would be landing a high-profile client or a huge speaking gig, so I did everything I could to get meetings with the “right” people. My wife was a bit more skeptical of my plan, though. She urged me to focus on doing the little things well: getting training, serving others, and learning on the job. She argued that if my business was going to grow through referrals, then the meetings that mattered most were the ones with my current clients, not the big-name prospects.
After resisting her wise guidance for a year or so, I finally bought in. I decided to play the long game and trust the process. I got trained, pursued certification, and worked to serve my clients. I also started taking time every day to write a book. My hope was that creating something of real value for the world would not only transform the lives of leaders but would also open up doors and stages for me. For three years, I spent time quietly learning, creating, and refining. And when I introduced the book to the world in February, I was so grateful to see that this long play paid off. It was such a great reminder for me that, as Milo Rediger said, "the faithfulness of today determines the task of tomorrow."
What about you?
Where are you most tempted to take shortcuts or go for the big wins?
What is it about those situations that makes you more impulsive or grandiose?
What would a solid process look like instead?
PS: The Sooners eventually benched Rattler in favor of an unknown freshman QB named Caleb Williams. And unfortunately for my Longhorns, Williams led a dramatic comeback in the second half and ultimately beat Texas in the final three seconds of the game. Williams would go on to win the Heisman Trophy the next year.
1 resource: 2023 highlight reel
This has been a whirlwind of a year. After publishing Humbler Leadership in February, I've had the privilege of leading keynotes and workshops all over the country. It's been such a joy!
If you or your organization is looking for an engaging, authentic, and research-driven keynote, would you consider passing along this highlight reel to them? Almost all of my new clients are the result of people like you sharing my name with people they know, so your influence matters.
Thanks so much for your ongoing support!