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A Strong Inner Offense

By Karla Brandau

I grew up playing the piano and trying to be fine and refined. When I fell in love, I fell in love with a man who had played quarterback on the football team. One of the first experiences I had with Steve and football was his choice of a movie: a made for TV show about the Green Bay Packers and the legendary coach, Vince Lombardi.

When Lombardi was hired to be the Packer coach, a press conference was held. Lombardi confidently announced that they would have a winning season in spite of the demoralizing losses the Packers had just experienced.

The reporters began needling Lombardi. After several snide questions, one reporter went too far when he asked: "So when you say you are going to have a winning season, does that mean you will win 2 games next year?"

Lombardi had had enough. He looked at the reporter and in controlled rage blurted out, "Let me tell you what winning is, Mister. Winning is being willing to work harder than the next guy, it is being willing to give more than anyone else. If you are smaller, you better run faster. If you are slower, you better hit harder. That is what winning is and if you'd put that to practice in your life, you'd be winning Pulitzer Prizes instead of sitting here in a snow storm asking stupid questions."

I've never forgotten that scene because even though I didn't know anything about football, I understood perseverance, hard work, and the determination to win.

Lombardi and the Green Bay Packers are legendary: five league championships over a seven-year span that culminated with victories in the first two Super Bowls. One of his winning tactics was a strong offense.

The Lombardi philosophy applies to our lives right now: you might be down on luck but you don't have to stay there. Through desire, drive, and strength of mind your human spirit can find a way out of seemingly impossible situations. Finding your personal answers requires contemplation, research into options, and the ability to listen to your gut feelings and impressions.

One could say that our world today is a football game in the mud... not very pretty. Winning requires an inner offense that can stop believing the entire world is against you. Winning requires the ability to throw off the human feeling of powerlessness and turn your energy toward finding opportunities behind every door that appears to be shut. Winning requires seeking the answer to "What can I do to turn this around?"

When you find that answer, your inner offense will kick in and your "I will not fail" attitude will make you a prize winner as you make it through these economic times with dignity and an increased capacity to win against all odds.

Karla Brandau, Certified Speaking Professional, is a workplace consultant and an expert in leadership and professional development. She works with organizations who want to be competitive in the 21st century global marketplace. Contact Karla at 770-923-0883 for a free consultation or to check the availability of dates to bring Karla to your organization.
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