Monthly Archives: November 2010

Famous Last Words


Talent and genius aren’t always recognized, especially when they are innovative talent or genius.  Just because someone says you can’t doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.  Some of the most successful people in their fields have been denounced at one time or other by a critic who failed to see their potential.

The following list of quotes are about famous people you may have heard of.  Despite the negative feedback, they stuck with it and accomplished incredible things.

  1. “He possesses minimal football knowledge and lacks motivation.” (Vince Lombardi)
  2. “He lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” (Walt Disney)
  3. “Can’t act.  Can’t sing.  Slightly bald.  Can dance a little.” (Fred Astaire)
  4. “Why don’t you stop wasting peoples’ time and go out and become a dishwasher or something?” (Sidney Poitier)
  5. “Try another profession.”(Lucille Ball)
  6. “You’d better learn secretarial work or else get married.” (Marilyn Monroe)
  7. “You ain’t got it, kid.  You ain’t got it.  Now get out of here.” (Harrison Ford)
  8. “You will be a laborer all your life.” (Michael Caine)
  9. “Least Likely to Succeed” (Robin Williams)
  10. “We don’t like their sound.  Groups of guitars are on their way out.” (The Beatles)
  11. “You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son.  You ought to go back to driving a truck.” (Elvis Presley)
  12. “Hopeless as a composer” (Beethoven)
  13. “Unable and unwilling to learn” (Leo Tolstoy)
  14. “Mentally slow, unsociable, and adrift forever in foolish dreams” (Albert Einstein)
  15. “Too stupid to learn anything” and “non-productive” (Thomas Edison)

 

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Filed under Challenges, commitment, determination, failure, feedback, overcoming obstacles, passion, Persistence

Hustling Errors


In 1992, Jimmy Johnson, then coach of the Dallas Cowboys, cut running back “Swervin’” Curvin Richards after he fumbled in the last game of the regular season.  That in itself wasn’t so surprising.  Coach Johnson had a temper, and he didn’t suffer fumblers lightly.  But what was surprising was that Johnson would cut Richards but defend two other players who made similar mistakes in the same quarter of the same game.

Truth be told, all three mistakes were inconsequential.  Dallas would go on to win the game 27-14 over the Chicago Bears.  They had already secured a bye for the first weekend of the playoffs.  The game was nothing more than a notation in the record books as this particular Dallas team went on to win its third Super Bowl in dominating fashion.

The problem was not that mistakes had been made.  Richards’ fumble did result in a touchdown for the opposing team, but so did Steve Beuerlein’s interception.  Alvin Harper also turned the ball over…and all these happened in the fourth quarter.  So, why didn’t Johnson cut all three players?  Why did Richards alone incur Johnson’s wrath?

According to Johnson, it was because Beuerlein and Harper committed “hustling errors” while Richards simply showed the sloppiness that comes from a poor work ethic.  Beuerlein and Harper were forgiven because they were hustling; they were trying to make something happen.  They were taking risks and trying to get the momentum back for an offensive team that had started to focus their attention on the playoffs before the game had even ended.

Richards, on the other hand, failed to execute one of the fundamentals of his job.  Had he shown more diligence on the practice field, he might have been spared.  But Johnson was irritated with the running back for his lackluster approach to the game.  Johnson used this opportunity to teach his team an important lesson.  There are mistakes, and then there are mistakes.  Mistakes made while taking risks and trying new approaches will be forgiven.  Mistakes made because of poor preparation will not.

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Filed under coaching, failure, forgiveness, grace, justice, leadership, management, mentoring, mistakes