How often the simple is the profound. I do believe that in so many areas of life, we make things so complicated.
I once read that the entire law that was passed as Social Security was 17 pages long and this was certainly a law that has had a profound effect on all us retirees. But the Affordable Care Act is some 2,200 pages long. I am the furthest thing from someone who understands the workings of government, but was it necessary for the latter law to be some 2,180 pages longer?
I have always believed that teachers, coaches, and leaders can have a profound effect on those whom they mentor and when I look back at the leaders who influenced me the most, their philosophies were pretty simple.
Brother Paul French taught me that teachers have to demand work from their students if these students are truly going to advance in learning.
Brother Phillip Lynch taught me that teachers can genuinely care about the students in their charge well beyond the narrow confines of a classroom.
Dr. Jack Orr taught me that listening may be the strongest asset a leader can bring to his work.
Father, then Bishop Kaffer, taught me that if you really believe that something is necessary, one person can defy all the negatives and get it done.
Gordie Gillespie taught me many things, but when all was said and done, it got down to that you should strive to love those whom you coach.
Not one of the above lessons is complicated. They are all pretty simple philosophies, but the results of these lessons are truly profound.
The most profound things we can accomplish in our journey through life seem to be very simple as validated by some great minds.
Albert Einstein wrote, “I can see no other reason why we are here except to help others.”
The Prayer of St. Francis is one of the most simple prayers I have ever read, but if we could live its tenets like bringing joy, light, and hope, we certainly would have a profound effect on those we lead along the way.
Father James Keller, the founder of The Christophers, wrote, “Each of us has, by the grace of God, the power to change the world for the better. Every act of care and concern for others has a ripple effect, touching many lives.”
Again, how simple are these insights.
I have always thought that leaders can be more effective, the more they listen, a very simple concept.
My daughter, Colleen, taught me a profound concept on listening when she said she reminds herself each day, “That I will learn nothing today by my talking; but I will learn from my listening.”
Will Rogers may have summed it up best when he wrote, “Never pass up an opportunity to shut up.”
Another simple concept if we want to accomplish anything is we have to work.
Coach John Wooden said it simply when he wrote, “There is no substitute for hard work.”
Coach Vince Lombardi put it this way, “The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.”
How important is it to lead with teamwork?
Vince Lombardi wrote, “Individual commitment to a group cause is what makes a team, a business, a church, or a country work.”
John Wooden expressed it this way, “The main ingredient of a star is the rest of the team.” He also used to say, “It’s amazing how much can be accomplished when nobody cares who gets the credit.”
Al McGuire told his Marquette players, “Either we all go uptown together or nobody goes uptown at all.”
Are not these concepts important for leaders… how we treat others, how we listen, how we work, and how much we strive for teamwork?
The effect of the above concepts on those whom we lead is profound. But the philosophies of executing them are pretty simple.