While planning to post on one topic yesterday I heard an amazing speech given by Chuck Pagano to his team after a victory in the NFL (American Professional Football). As such I lost my momentum for one topic and found a new topic to ponder.
I know many people follow sports and many do not. I love sports of all kinds. Over time I realized that sport, for me, is storytelling. There is drama, heroes, and moments that stand alone and change the outcome. All of it leads to a conclusion … and end of our story. As always with a good story, there are lessons for those willing to listen.
So I listen to the story of Chuck Pagano.
So who is Chuck Pagano? He is the first year coach of the Indianapolis Colts. Last year they were the worst team in the league. His job is to turn it around.
Ah, our story unfolds. Coach Pagano was diagnosed before the season with Leukemia and must undergo full-time treatment. No football coaching allowed. Time to focus on health. His coaches take over while he watches from afar. No doubt he remains involved though.
His team is inspired by their coach and his fight. So far this season the team is playing well and they may make the playoffs. Of course many experts thought the team would still struggle and remain at the bottom. The groundwork for a powerful story indeed.
Yesterday was the first day the coach was able to remain at the stadium for the full game (watching from the owner’s box). He spoke briefly to the team before the game and then in more detail after the game. The team won in an inspired fashion.
Below is both the video and the transcript of what coach Pagano said to his team. This will stick with me for a long time just like any great story.
His words, as with a great story, paint a picture and show how a leader can truly move people to reach goals that some think unattainable. As the coach says, “Live in a vision … refuse to live in circumstances.”
This story is not over. I will continue to turn the pages and see how our hero works through the challenges set forth before him. Like any story I want a happy ending – indeed for Coach Pagano, good health and a speedy recovery. The world of sport and society in general need leaders like you.
“I mentioned before the game that you guys were living in a vision and you weren’t living in circumstances. Because you know where they had us in the beginning. Every last one of them. But you refused to live in circumstances and you decided consciously, as a team, and as a family, to live in a vision. And that’s why you bring things home like you brought home today. That’s why you’re already champions, and well on your way. I got circumstances. You guys understand it. I understand it. It’s already beat. It’s already beat. My vision that I’m living, see two more daughters getting married, dancing at their weddings, and then hoisting that Lombardi several times and watch that confetti fall on this fucking group right here. Several times, we’re going to hoist that baby. I’m dancing at two more weddings. And we’re hoisting that trophy together man. Congratulations.”