My good friend Soothsayer has posted a comment on one of the blog entries which I think all of us should read. If you don’t know Sooth from his many call ins to DCFanatic Radio let me give you a quick bio on him. He hates Jerry Jones, has followed the Dallas Cowboys religiously since a child, has seen the best days of all the Cowboys greats, has dressed as Tom Landry and attended games and has a love for this team that cannot be challlenged by anyone from any generation.
Here’s this from Sooth…
I’ll tell you what a leader is.
When Roger Stauback would change the play call in the huddle and win the game. That’s a leader.
When Staubach, while he was changing the play in the huddle, would turn to Drew Pearson and ask, “Can you get open?” Pearson would say, “Yes.” That’s a leader.
When Charlie Waters, the only player who truly understood the Flex, would walk up to Tom Landry and say, “Coach, we need to be doing this on defense.” That’s a Leader.
When Michael Irvin showed on his first day at Valley Ranch and yelled, “Can lightning strike twice?” Then proceeded to become the hardest worker on the practice field. That’s a leader.
When Troy Aikman, at a press conference after the devastating loss to San Francisco in 94, said, “We will win our third Super Bowl.” Or when at training camp at St. Edwards, he deliberately overthrew a receiver who slowed down on his route as the ball sailed over his head, Aikman barked, “In Dallas, we don’t stop running till the ball hits the ground.” That’s a leader.
When Emmitt Smith dislocated his shoulder, had the trainers pop it back in, then returned to the field and played through grueling pain to win the game against the Giants. That’s a leader.
There are numerous other examples, but you get the point. Leadership is setting the example for your teammates, in the locker room, on the practice field, and in the game. It’s what make the rest of the team elevate their level of performance. It’s what motivates men to win.
Saying “our window is closing” is not leadership. Rather, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Saying “we need to improve” is not leadership. It’s an admission of underperformance.
You never would have heard Staubach or Aikman, or any of the other storied leaders the Cowboys have had in the past, say “we’re running out of time.” No, they all would have said, “Give us one more down.” The former is admitting you’re losing. The latter is stating you’re determined to win.
“Coaching is getting men to do what they do not want to do, in order to get them to achieve what they want to achieve.” –Tom Landry. That’s leadership.
He is a wise man who has lived a pretty good life down there in Texas. Sometimes I think back to beginning of my blog and radio show back in 2005. Never did I imagine that it would bring him in contact with so many great people across the world, but it has and I appreciate that very much. Thanks to everyone who visits.
Let’s hope that at the end of the next Super Bowl all of us can rejoice that once again the Dallas Cowboys are World Champions.