A few weeks ago, the definition of flawless was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Without fanfare, perhaps the greatest lineman in NFL history, Walter Jones, took his place among football immortals. According to Jones, the gold jacket was an unlikely ending to his life in football. In his own words, “All I ever wanted was to make it to the NFL.”
Jones, who played only for the Seattle Seahawks, did more than make it. He was simply great. During his amazing career he proved to be a 6’5, 325 pound, wall on the left side of the Seahawks offensive line. As a left tackle he was virtually perfect.
Consider that Jones was responsible for protecting the quarterback on over 5,500 passes during his career, and yet yielded only 23 sacks. Or, how about the fact that Jones made it to the Pro Bowl 9 times, the same number of times he was flagged for holding during his entire 13 year career.
When asked about his big left tackle, Seahawks coach, Mike Holmgren said, “Walter is the best offensive player I have ever coached.” By the way, in case you didn’t know, Holmgren coached Jerry Rice, Joe Montanna, Steve Young, and Brett Farve. Talk about high praise!
Walter demonstrated the physical toughness to impose his will on his opponents. His training regimen included pushing an SUV on hot summer days at his Alabama home. But Jones toughness was not merely physical. Perhaps more importantly, he possessed the mental strength to also do his work the right way, without shortcuts.
When I think of Walter Jones, I am challenged to reach for excellence in my own work.
Big Walt ended up in Canton because he chased greatness. Day by day, one practice and one snap at a time. As you lead today I encourage you to focus on flawless on your field. Give your team the best you have and then show up tomorrow and do it again.
Who knows? You might become a legend too.
Leadership Begins at Home,
Why do you think some leaders reach for greatness while others settle for being good?
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Randy is an author, speaker, executive coach, and the CEO of InteGREAT Leadership. He invests his time encouraging leaders around the world.