The Message of Leadership


"Gentlemen, this is a football."
-Vince Lombardi

Coach Vince Lombardi was well known for keeping his team focused on the fundamentals of the game. How about you? Are you crystal clear about the fundamentals of the game of life? Do you even know what game you are playing? In reality, of course, life is no game; it is the most serious business in which you will ever engage. And since this is not a dress rehearsal, strive to do it right and start with the fundamentals.

The writer of Proverbs starts with the foundational concept that wisdom is the chief aim of life and goes on to say that all wisdom comes from God. If you put God first everything else will fall into place. How do you do this? It starts with humbling yourself and admitting that God is the coach and you are the player. He calls the plays and you execute them—sometimes over and over again, always learning more about God and yourself. And you keep at it, always reminding yourself that the coach has a perspective of the game you’ll never have.

The legendary coach Tom Landry once told me that he had three priorities in life: God, family, and football—in that order. “Until you get your priorities straight you will never be truly successful at anything.”

Life is not a game; it is serious business and the stakes are eternally high. You must start with the fundamentals. "Gentlemen," there is a God and we’re not Him!

Essential Insight 1: Start with the fundamentals and stick with them.