What Is Love?
The book I’m currently reading is called “When Pride Still Mattered”, which is a biography of Vince Lomabardi, one of the most successful and famous American Football coaches, in the history of the game. During the 1960s he coached his team (The Green Bay Packers) to 5 championship titles, including a famous three in a row in 1965, 1966 and 1967.
In the book you get a real insight into the man, his character, what made him a great leader, and how he was able to successfully motivate his team to so many titles. I’m almost finished reading the book, however there is something in particular that I wanted to share with you.
Lombardi was well known for his motivational speeches, and there is one speech that an ex-player recounts that I was really struck by. In this speech began by asking his players “What is the meaning of love?” Here is what he told them
“Anybody can love something that is beautiful or smart or agile. You will never know love until you can love something that isn’t beautiful, isn’t bright, isn’t glamorous. It takes a special person to live something unattractive, someone unknown. That is the test of love. Everybody can love someone’s strengths and somebody’s good looks. But can you accept someone for his inabilities?
He then went on to bring this back to team sport. You might be playing with a guy who isn’t perfect, but you’ve got to love him, and maybe that love would enable you to help him. And maybe you will do something more to overcome a difficult situation because of that love. He wanted his players to think “What can I do to make it easier for my teammate?”
Bringing it back to Business
I just wanted to share my thoughts with you on how this can be translated to the world of business.
We all work as part of teams, some more than others, some in large teams, some in small teams. I think it is fair to say that just like in sport, teams in business have people of mixed ability and experience. Reflecting on Lombardi’s words about love and teamwork, it’s interesting to observe that there are too many people that don’t show compassion and understanding for people who are less experienced and maybe less talented.
I think we can take these words as a reminder to be more thoughtful, and to watch out for those people in our teams who need a bit of a helping hand, and some encouragement along the way.