How one man impacted the future of a business by simply giving his best to a seemingly small job
I recently was honored to receive the American Football Coaches Association CEO Coach of the Year Award at their annual dinner. This event raises money for AFCA members to educate and support the smaller college and high school coaches to become better at their jobs. It’s an important goal since some 1.5 million youngsters are playing football, many without positive male influences other than their coaches.
It’s an honor to be recognized by a group that champions the role of coaches throughout America. The good ones teach young people not only how to be better players but also how to be better human beings. Coaches model the teamwork, commitment and hard work they ask of their players. Furthermore, the influence of good coaches is felt not just on the field, but also at home, in the classroom and later in life, long after the games are over.
Whether you are coaching sports, leading a work team, or mentoring another employee, you never know how much of a positive difference you could be making in someone’s life.
It reminds me of a story from the early days of FedEx. We had met with a group of investors to try to get them to invest in our young company, but they decided against giving us the money. We were very disappointed. But the next day, one of the investors called me and said the group members had changed their mind and we would indeed be receiving the funds we had requested. “Just out of curiosity,” I asked the man, “what made you change your mind?” Here’s what he told me: “When we were leaving the hangar, we noticed how clean everything was—you could eat off the floor, you could see your face in the shiny surfaces. Everything was spic-and-span. And then we saw the gentleman, a partially disabled janitor, who was responsible for taking care of the place. We talked it over and decided if this type of excellence is supported at the very front-line level, then FedEx was a company that we were willing to invest in.”
What a difference that FedEx janitor’s excellent work made in the future of our company. What a difference we can all make in the futures of those around us by doing our best work and influencing others to do theirs.