Where Does YOUR LOYALTY Lie?

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"Loyalty and friendship, which is to me the same, created all the wealth that I've ever thought I'd have."

Ernie Banks

best urban meyer pic

CLICK ON IMAGE: to view video of Head Football Coach Urban Meyer talking about OSU Buckeye Brotherhood and its impact after winning the 2015 National Championship victory.


We, at SportsLeader, took the opportunity to sit down with Ohio State Head Football Coach, Urban Meyer the other day and talk about some of the fundamentals he believes in as far as character development and team building. Coach Meyer has been a friend and supporter of SportsLeader since he took over the reins at Ohio State in 2012. Coach Meyer believes so much in character development, mentoring, leadership training and team building that he has made the commitment to spend extensive, intentional time emphasizing it with players and coaches throughout his tenure as coach at OSU. This fact begs the question, "What are you doing to emphasize character development and team building with YOUR team?


Dealing with Adversity

It's not IF adversity will strike, it's WHEN adversity will strike.....and what are you going to do about it, when it does? Because of this fact, the Ohio State Buckeye Football Team tries to create a "3rd and 1" situation EVERY DAY involving stress and adversity. The coaching staff preaches that to be able to deal with adversity successfully means thinking "Above the Line": being intentional, prepared and reacting with purpose. Too often, people don't consider that adversity will come and thus, they are NOT ready when it does. Thus, they react to adversity with "Below the Line" thinking, relying on impulsive thinking that most often isn't the best response AND often makes the problem worse.

How can one condition oneself to be intentional instead of impulsive? Repetition, repetition, repetition!


Power of the Unit

How do you get your players to do the right thing EVERY DAY? Most coaches we encounter at SportsLeader believe in teaching lessons of sacrifice, courage, trust, etc...However, in addition to whatever character lessons you teach to your team, there has to be an element of accountability among teammates to make sure those lessons stick; Who will hold me accountable to the excellence that is preached? With that being the case, the small unit is a great way to create that norm of excellence; similar types of people with similar types of skills together EVERY DAY working and willing to maintain that norm of excellence, with the position coach taking the lead. Often it is so difficult for all teammates-with different backgrounds and different skill sets to hold each other accountable. But to create squads within the team and then give them the mission of making each other great, EVERY DAY, that is something that can happen and according to Coach Meyer, HAS to happen for the team to succeed on a greater scale. The 2014 Ohio State Football Team had ALL 9 of their small units working to maximum capacity through a commitment to LOVE and BROTHERHOOD...... and the winning took care of itself!



For any team to be successful, loyalty to the leader(s) is a MUST! By all means this is a two-way street. The leader must be willing to be a person of CHARACTER-doing the right thing always, COMPETENCY, and being willing and able to CONNECT with his/her people. This loyalty to the TEAM is an everyday task, no matter one's mood, or the circumstance. But,without a doubt, this relationship of loyalty is a two-way street. Team members must BE LOYAL to the TEAM as well. Second guessing the leader, talking behind his/her back and/or doing his/her own thing because of one's selfishness is NOT being a team player....and it will ultimately destroy the team. With this being the case, Coach Meyer urges all leaders to foster TRUST with their team to build up this loyalty. This trust is an essential ingredient in any team and it must be fostered DAILY. And if a team member won't get on board with what the team agrees, if he/she won't give their trust to the team and be loyal to the team, it is probably best for all involved for them to go.


Too many times we hear the terms; character, love, accountability, trust, loyalty, etc... and think once we do them we can cross them off our list. But the genius of leadership and team building is doing these things DAILY! As leaders we must tackle virtue EVERY DAY, creating systems of mentoring, systems of ceremony, systems of character development so that everyone on the TEAM does them habitually day after day after day.

Leaders, our teams are up against the corruption of selfishness every day. Our society oozes me, me, me. Thank God, there are leaders out there, like Coach Meyer, that realize the battle before them. Let us do the same and then do something powerful to combat it. Together we CAN!



OSU 1982 Co-Captain, Pre-Season All-American and 3-time All Big Ten Player, Joe Lukens(and SportsLeader co-founder!) with Coach Urban Meyer.