Ben Campopiano's Reviews > The Bowden Way: 50 Years of Leadership Wisdom

The Bowden Way by Bobby Bowden
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Jul 21, 08

bookshelves: non-fiction, self-help, sports
Read in April, 2005

Everything that occurs within an organization reflects back upon its leader.

Nothing looks more ridiculous than a leader who is indecisive, uncertain, or reluctant to make difficult decisions. I’d rather be wrong than indecisive.

Twenty-nine former Bear Bryant assistant went on to become head coaches. Twenty-seven of them got fired. You can learn from a guy like Bryant, but no one can be like him, no matter how hard they try. Each person must be himself. Draw insights and lessons from others, but don’t try to imitate them, because you aren’t them.

Integrity is all about doing the right thing – no matter the consequence.

Religion isn’t magic. Devotionals don’t mean that God favors us more than he favors our opponents. God won’t cause us to win just because we pray. But genuine faith has an enormous impact on the way we work together and the way we work with our players. Faith makes us better coaches because it helps us to keep our jobs in perspective. We learn not to worry about things over which we have no control. And we remain focused on the things that matter most.

No matter how badly I want to win, I realize that an undue emphasis on winning will skew everything. It will skew our moral values, which take priority over winning. It will skew our faith, which recognizes that life is bigger than football. And it will require me to evaluate my staff in ways I’m not willing to do. WINING WILL TAKE CARE OF ITSELF.

If good moral meant contentment, I would’ve failed at my job long ago. You simply cannot make everyone happy or give them what they believe they deserve. Grumbling will happen. Some will walk off and quit the team. I’ve learned to accept a measure of discontent as the cost of doing business. Heck, if a player will quit over a slight discontentment, he probably would’ve quit down in the trenches during a game when things got tough.

I view adversity, n all its forms, as a test of my faith in God. If I develop the habit of trusting God on a regular basis with the myriad little problems that constitute daily life, then I’m prepared when the larger issue of adversity arises.

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