Oklahoma State Football – Conference Champs (woot!)

Sorry folks…I have to go off-topic to say “Congrats” to the Oklahoma State football team.  No lessons learned in this post…I’m just happy to be able to be gloat over the accomplishments of my favorite college football team.

I’m on Oklahoma State Fan. Always have been…always will be.

I love the school and I love the teams but I especially love the football team.  Throughout most of my life, Oklahoma State football has always been an average team with some years better and some years worse.

The last few years have given OSU fans something to be hopeful for. It started with Les Mile’s being hired in 2001 as head football coach…the team started a nice climb above mediocrity and since Mike Gundy took over in 2005 the team has done quite well relative to Oklahoma State football history.

This year…the Oklahoma State Cowboys football team won a Big 12 Championship for the first time.  That’s quite an accomplishment considering the other teams in the conference (e.g., University of Oklahoma, University of Texas, etc).

This Conference Championship is something that every OSU fan should be extremely proud of…and to win the championship in such convincing fashion as they did by beating the OU 44-10 in the Bedlam game made it even more special.

I am disappointed that this team doesn’t get shot at playing for the National Championship. I’m disappointed that the voters chose to put Alabama at #2 rather than OSU…but…that’s what happened.  Is Alabama better than OSU? Who knows. Is LSU better than OSU?  Who knows.  I do know that I would have loved to have let the teams see for themselves via a playoff system…but that won’t happen anytime soon.

When the final rankings came out this past weekend and OSU was ranked #3 in all polls, many OSU fans were outraged that LSU would be playing Alabama for the National Championship.  Many OSU fans were (and are) angry that the SEC has 2 teams in the championship game, especially given the fact that LSU and Alabama have already played this year with Alabama losing in a low scoring game.

There’s been a lot of name calling and finger pointing…and it bothers me.  On many message boards and facebook pages over the last few days, OSU fans have been bashing the SEC, Alabama, the BCS system and anyone else they can point a finger at for ‘causing’ OSU to miss the National Championship game.

The reality of the situation is that the OSU football team lost to Iowa State.  Iowa State was an unranked team.  Many voters could not let that go when they cast their final ballot.   Its pretty simple. I dislike the fact that 2 SEC teams are playing for the National Championship…but it is what it is.

Even though the team isn’t playing for the title, its been a great year for OSU football. I’m excited that my team is 11-1 this year rather than 9-3 or 4-7 that I’m used too.  I hope Coach Gundy and the rest of the coaching staff can keep the team improving.

The future looks good for OSU football…but fellow OSU fans…please take a step back and control your emotions.  Stop trying to place blame where it doesn’t really belong and let’s get ready to cheer on the Cowboys in the Fiesta Bowl against the Stanford Cardinals.  Should be a good game.

Now…back to regularly scheduled blogging… 🙂

John Madden’s Lessons for Leadership

U.S. Senator Susan Collins, who co-chairs the ...
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John Baldoni had a great article on HarvardBusiness.org titled “Five Things John Madden Teaches Us about Leadership.”

Apparently John Madden has announced his retirement…I’ve been so busy with work and school to not know this.  Baldoni took Madden’s announcement as a chance to look at what leadership lessons can be learned from Madden….and I was impressed.

The lessons are:

  • Commit to what you do
  • Innovate as you go
  • Tell Stories
  • Love what you do
  • Know when to say when

Now…I’m going to make you jump over to the article to get Baldoni’s take on these lessons but I will provide my own commentary here too.

I don’t think anyone would argue with these points.  Leaders need to be committed towhat they do, love what they do, innovate and know when to throw in the towel.  But what about the third one (tell stories)?  Do many leaders do that?

I think they should.

Think about John Madden’s commentary during football games (American football that is).  He never sat there and just called the plays as they happened…he provided insight into what was happening and share stories from his many years of experience.

He used stories to educate people watching the games and he made people smarter by doing so.  This is what leaders need to do to.

Don’t just tell people that the organization is changing…tell them why its changing. Tell a story that highlights the reasons for the change.  Provide examples and a narrative to help people take the information in and internalize it.

In addition to football jargon, let’s learn something else from John Madden. Describe where you want to go and draw it out for your team….you may be surprised that people will be on-board with your vision if they understand it more clearly.

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