Leadership and Tom Landry

Getting someone to do - 1

Leadership is getting someone to do what they don’t want to do
to achieve what they want to achieve.
Tom Landry

Thanksgiving has been known for many traditions. Not the least of which, unfortunately, may be that there is football on Thanksgiving. The Dallas Cowboys have played on Thanksgiving Day since 1966 and that my friend is a tradition.

I grew up and became a Steelers fan in my teen years. They were awesome in the 1970s. The Cowboys weren’t bad either. But the best thing to be said of the Cowboys in those days was their coach – Tom Landry.

Getting someone to do - 2There have been some amazing coaches in pro football. John Madden, Vince Lombardi, Mike Ditka, Tony Dungy are only a few of the great coaches that have walked the chalk on the sidelines. But, beyond their ability to instruct and motivate with Xs and Os, consider for a moment one of the key tasks of the football coach as the leader of the team. He must get his guys to do that which is tough and tiring in order to achieve the thing that they all really want – winning the Super Bowl.

What is the point on Fatherhood Friday on the day after the Cowboys beat the Raiders 31 to 24?

It is to remind you that it is our job as fathers to get our families to do those things that they sometimes don’t want to do in order for the family to succeed and give life to new families and more winning traditions.

Ralph Nader (who to the best of my knowledge doesn’t know anything about football, went on to say, “The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” Inadequate leaders just create followers. But truly great leaders produce more leaders.

And the point for for you fathers today is to remind you that the hallmark of a great father is to produce great children, who then become great parents, who then produce great children.

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I am the husband of a beautiful and wonderful woman. I am the father of two of the greatest kids on the planet. I am a father-in-law to a great young woman. And I am Papa to three very special grandchildren. In my spare time I am an active blogger and writer. And if there is any time left over, I work with small non-profit organizations and churches on the topics of change management, crisis intervention and leadership development.

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