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Applicable Lessons from LSU's "Big Easy" National Championship

Posted by Thomas Edwards on January 18, 2020 10:00 AM EST
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Having the good fortune of almost a week to reflect on the truly amazing yearlong feats of LSU's football team and its NCAA football national champtionship achievement many of us are still in awe and a bit dumbfounded by the magnifcense of it all.  And finding applications from LSU's almost unimaginable success this past year and .....

....the lessons of it just seem to come to mind in torrents.  And knowing so many people from that region of the country, as well as knowing Joe is from southeast Texas and went to undergraduate university in Beaumont, Texas just a couple of hours drive down I-10 from New Orleans, I'd be remiss if I didn't take a moment to share some thoughts about the "metaphorical significance" of the LSU team and specific indivduals' achievements.  And not just in the title game, but throughout the entire season.

Bear in mind, that I am no expert in football or any athletic endeavor.  However, as someone who has spent much time in business management and innovation consulting, it seems timely and relevant to "opine" on the broader significance-especially in the context of improving wellbeing.

First, let me say that I arrived an LSU fan very late in the season.  And believe it or not, it was while watching an interview just prior to the Thanksgiving Day weekend while waiting for a car repair issue to be resolved.  The interview was with the outstanding quarterback Joe Burrow (Geaux Jeaux Burreaux) :).  The interview was well produced and was well done.  And up to that point in time I had heard Joe Burrow's name, but had not really been following college football or him or LSU.  Throughout the interview I was struck by his self-effacing and humble demeanor.  And as the interviewer continued to ask questions and comment about his amazing statistics so far in the season, I found myself even more drawn to Joe's "aw shucks" style.  He spoke matter-of-factly and only at the end of the interview did I pick up on the fact that he had been a second and third string quarterback at Ohio State for a couple of years and had transferred to LSU for his senior season in hopes of getting a little playing time at the end of his college career.  He kept speaking about the motivational benefits of his coach who had also been bumped around a bit throughout his college coaching career.  He spoke of discipline, hard work and focus....and willingness to take chances with big plays and lean on his teammates when necessary.  Again-giving credit to the others for what were fantastic individual statistics of his own.

And that was before he (Joe Burrow) began to be a household name, won the Heisman Trophy by a landslide and "lit up" the playoffs!   Not to mention resetting the NCAA records for numerous one year records!!  And even after all that, after staying up half the night to see LSUs victory over Clemson, it was still great theater to see his post-game interview, humbleness abounding, giving all credit to his team and his coaches.

Whew!  When you least expect it, a miracle of years in the making and perserverence shows up on the biggest stage at just the right time!

So, here goes.....my ten big takeaways and lessons from LSU, its indomitable "Coach O" and a quarterback for the ages-for wellbeing and success:

1. As Winston Churchhill once said, "never give up, never, never, give up".

2. Be willing to make a big change when you think there are better opportunities to maximize your success and contributions to a team.

3.  Practice makes perfect (or nearly perfect, as in Joe Burrow's case:) )

4.  Have a game plan, but be willing to make changes.

5.  Give others credit, when deserved, for your individual success.  It's compelling and will set you apart from the pack.

6. The community matters.....in this case, Louisiana once again gets a big win, in its famous hometown of New Orleans in the Sugar Bowl ("How sweet it is!").

7. Dream big, work hard on the small details, break some rules to break big records.....change can be good.

8. Stay the course...even when others doubt your progress is sustainable, maybe even just good luck....stay on track.

9. Big success is often the right small steps over and over again...and a few big steps at just the right time.

10. Don't look back except to let past disappointments motivate, leverage successes and strengths and remember that in the end, "Team= Together Everyone Achieves More".

Can't wait to see how LSU fares next year without Joe Burrow.  And can't wait to see how Joe Burrow does in the NFL without LSU.  Something tells me they both will be better for having been together for a year.  Geaux Jeaux Burreaux...."Let The Good Times Roll"!

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