Saturday, January 31, 2009

If you are going to lead, you try to lead with a servant's heart

At one point this season, Steelers RB Willie Parker became unhappy that the team wasn't giving him more carries.

PIT coach Mike Tomlin had a quick response:

“Every day when I walk into our practice facility,” said the head coach, “I walk past five Lombardi Trophies. I don’t walk past five rushing titles.”

Coach Tomlin describes his first coaching job, as the 23-year-old receivers coach at VMI, as "pure."

“I didn’t have anything else going on in my life, truth be known. I was single, I was broke, I didn’t have cable or long distance calling, and so there was nothing else to do other than immerse yourself in the game. I was with a bunch of guys who were like-minded, and we had a great time.”

Looking back on what he's learned over the last 13 years, from VMI to the Super Bowl, Coach Tomlin says he's thankful for his mentors:

“I’ve been blessed that I have worked with some great people, people who took a stake in my development,” he said this week. “And really, I pull from all of it on a day-to-day basis – lessons learned from leadership. It’s about people. It’s about taking care of the troops. It’s about putting them first. I’ve learned that if you are going to lead, you try to lead with a servant’s heart. I try to do that – try to take care of my men and give them what they need to be great.”