In between finishing my book, Leaders Who Last, I’m cleaning out my files. I found this great quote from Sonny Jurgensen who quarterbacked for the Redskins under the great football coach Vince Lombardi for one season in 1969: “Coach Lombardi called me into his office once he got settled in, and his first words to me were, ‘I’ve heard a lot of things about you as a person and as a player, and I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of things about me. Well, that’s got nothing to do with our relationship. I just ask one thing of you: I want you to be yourself. Don’t emulate anyone else. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Just be yourself.’’ (Winning Is the Only Thing, ed. Jerry Kramer, p. 251.)
I know it’s not even football season, and I’m not really a football fan. Still, this comment from a coach known to be hard-driving struck me a decade ago when I filed it away, and again last week.