Whether you are at your job or at home you always want to do well, meet expectations, and love others well. However, sometimes things don’t go right or you don’t think how your actions might affect others and people end up with hurt feelings, especially spouses. I can tell you from experience I have been in the doghouse at home many times. Getting out of the doghouse is something you definitely want to do. It’s not always easy; however, here are the things that have always worked best for me.
“To be trustworthy is a greater compliment than being loved.” -George MacDonald
Are you trustworthy? Being trustworthy is one of the qualities of a good leader. There are traits someone needs to have in order to be trustworthy. Trustworthy traits are internal qualities that form the bedrock of our character. Regardless of the situation or circumstances, these traits are simply a part of who we are. For the sake of simplicity, I have identified 4 primary trustworthy traits:
Every good football coach must be adaptable. One of the most important parts of the job is learning how to identify the needs of the team and how to responsibly fill them. Football rosters constantly change due to injuries, free agency, and the NFL Draft. It requires a stable group of leaders to successfully guide a team through those transitions.
Our Super Bowl-winning Indianapolis Colts team had to do that in 2005 when Pro Bowl safety Bob Sanders was injured most of the regular season. The coaching staff had to create as much stability as possible to keep the team on track and reach our goals.
If there is one thing your kids love it is spending time with you, their dad. Once a month in schools all over the country dads and kids meet at schools and have breakfast together. It’s called the All Pro Dad’s Day Breakfast. I have been attending these with my kids and have had a fun time every month. There are several reasons I love it.
Here are 2 reasons I take my kids and why, if you aren’t, you should consider taking yours.
I was talking about hardships with James Brown, the studio host of The NFL on CBS. He said that he has been called an “overnight success,” and then he shook his head and laughed. “Yeah. After the first twenty years of toiling, sure . . . then it was overnight.”
To me, this shows toughness and mental strength. NFL players so often talk about being “tough,” but I’m not sure they grasp what that truly means. In my opinion, this is what defines whether you are tough or not.
Case Keenum had a magical season last year as the quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings. However, he’s been a leader and a winner all his life, and he’s demonstrated those qualities since he was a young athlete. And he’s done it not just during the record-breaking performances and the championship seasons, but in the disappointing times as well. He kept the same upbeat attitude when he wasn’t highly recruited coming out of high school and when he got injured. When he wasn’t drafted coming out of college, he didn’t get down but just became more determined to prove the experts wrong. But the first two years of his NFL career provided nothing but disappointments.
In April 2001, a group of us were gathered in Jerry Angelo’s office at our team headquarters, having just completed what would turn out to be my final draft with the Buccaneers. It was around ten o’clock at night, and we were chatting about the completed draft and other topics. Shortly thereafter, I headed home. As soon as the door closed behind me, my coauthor, Nathan, who was part of the Bucs’ scouting department at the time, was ordered to his feet. “Get up!” He looked around, confused, and the command was given again. As he stood, he realized the towel he had been sitting on was covering the beer cooler. Out of respect for me, they had waited until I was gone.
When I think back through my life I feel like we have made a lot of improvements in our society, especially when it comes to racial equality. And while there are plenty of improvements, I have noticed some good life lessons for kids have diminished over the years. As I think about growing up as a young man in the Sixties and Seventies, and now as I look at my children growing up and their friends, I see several lessons kids are missing these days.
The people your kids spend time with will have a big influence on them. It’s important to teach them what to look for. These are principals I think are essential. Choose your friends wisely. Choose them for the sake of friendship. It seems like such an obvious statement, but my parents used to say it to us all the time. Don’t choose friends because they are popular, or because they are good-looking, or because they are rich or athletic. Choose your friends wisely because you enjoy them and because they are good people.
I am troubled by a society that devalues life directly and insidiously and then markets that idea to our kids through video games, music, movies, and television. This, in turn, contributes to kids not realizing that life should be respected, nurtured, and protected. I am concerned about kids who see themselves as cosmic accidents and haphazard, random events. It’s the opposite of how to build self-confidence and self-worth. If life is seen as accidental, then wasting my life, or taking someone else’s may not be that big of a deal.