Proverbs 4:7 says, “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.”  Let me repeat – Though it costs all you have, get wisdom and understanding.

One of the things that makes great leaders is their continual relentless pursuit of wisdom and knowledge.  Leaders are readers.  Successful leaders hire coaches to make them better.  They go to conferences and speak to experts.  Though it may cost significant time and resources, successful leaders get wisdom and understanding at all costs.

Recently, I watched a NFL Films profile of former University of Miami and Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson.  It was noted that not only do athletic organizations and coaches annually travel to his South Florida home to learn from him, but so do dozens of businesses.  Their goal is to learn leadership skills from this football legend.

The video above is a portion of the program and shows a motivational speech from Coach Johnson.  Please note, there are a few slang words in the clip.  That being said, it is understandable why people would run through a wall for this man.

As I watched Coach Johnson’s story, I gleaned 8 Hard Truths Champions Know That Others Do Not :

  1. Smart Leaders Know To Only Hire Smart People – “My number one thing is hit me in the head with hammer the next time I take a dumb guy.”
  2. Dumb People Cause You Most Of Your Problems – “90% of your mistakes are with guys you can’t even reason with.”
  3. For A Team To Be Good Everyone Has To Be At Their Best – “Everybody in your organization, if you’re going to be good, they have to be at their best.”
  4. Successful People Value Results Over Appearances – “Don’t be pretty, be good.”
  5. Smart Leaders Do NOT Treat Everyone The Same – “I’m going to very consistent.  I’m going to treat everyone of you differently.”
  6. Healthy People, Emotionally And Physically, Are The Most Rewarded – “People think football is for tough guys… Football rewards the guys that are in great condition.  That’s when you have fun.”
  7. Fatigue Makes Cowards Of Us All – “When you’re tired you make mistakes (and) don’t do what’s right and your will to win all of a sudden wavers a little bit.”
  8. Money Ultimately Does Not Solve Your Leadership Problems Or Bring You Lasting Joy – “QTL – Quality Time Left.  It doesn’t make any difference all the money you have or all the material things you have.  Can you really enjoy them when you get to a certain age?”

What is one thing you learned from Coach Jimmy Johnson which will make you a better leader?


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