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Well, good afternoon neighbor!
🎵 It’s a beautiful day on the football field.
A beautiful day on the football field.
Please don’t hit me.
Please don’t hit me. 🎵
I thought we’d have a little bit of fun there. Pay a little homage to another culture king Mr. Rogers himself.
It brings me to “What is the most powerful of the four L’s?”
We’ve been talking about Listening, Learning, Language, and now Love. Love really being the foundation, or the glue if you will, to the rest of the L’s. The thing that truly brings a team together.
Now, as you can imagine, in a corporate setting, whenever you talk about love, that’s going to make people feel uncomfortable. But you have to understand what I mean by love. It really comes down to how deeply do you value and respect your team members?
Now, we had a culture that was built around love and respect in Indianapolis. And it was the belief that if we build better men, we get better football players. So how do you practice that?
Well, the symbolism can be found on our Super Bowl ring. What’s special about this ring is that it’s the only ring in the history of the NFL to have a belief system, a culture belief system, engraved in the side of the ring – that’s the word FAITH.
Now, faith didn’t really have any religious connotation. It was more directed towards an idea. And the idea was:
“How can we take 53 men from 53 different parts of the world with 53 different faith perspectives, political views, to come together and trust and hope in each other?”
And so the acronym around the culture of our belief system was FAITH – Freedom for All Individuals to Trust and Hope in each other.
If coach Dungy could achieve that, then what he’s done is he’s truly built the strongest family environment that you can possibly imagine.
Now, what’s typical in sports and what’s typical in corporate America, is that you can have platforms that are built purely around “How do we get results? It doesn’t matter how we get them, but we are going to get them.” And that can come in the form, oftentimes, of toxic culture – building a foundation based upon a culture of fear, versus a culture of love and respect and pouring into the human condition at work every single day.
How did that present itself in Indianapolis? Well, it was really about three things:
1) How do we build trust?
2) How do we build commitment?
3) How do we build unity?
You see this in certain companies that have had tremendous success.
I was working with a lean manufacturing expert for Toyota, in fact, it’s my brother-in-law, Erik Stordahl. And Erik has even traveled over to Japan and worked with the masters. And one of the things that he taught me about The Toyota Way was this powerful principle transliterated into English to say “love and respect for your employees.” But, as he learned more about what the actual Japanese symbol means, it goes much deeper. It means “to hold precious that which makes a person human.” Wow! Can you imagine building a culture around that philosophy – that every single employee is precious because they are a human being? And they [Toyota] bring with them every single day that intrinsic belief system.
And if you can capture that as an organization, if you can capture that as a sports team, you begin to create systems that you can practice in order to increase your relational success – your interpersonal relationship between your team members and between your executive leadership team. And the result of that, if it’s being practiced consistently, is that you will find that principles like trust and hope are developed and they grow amongst your team members.
Principles like Commitment – making the choice to come to work every day, to do the best you can because you respect the people that you’re working with. And Unity – walking through the doors every morning and actually feeling joy because you know what your purpose is. These principles, if practiced on a foundation of love and respect in an organization, will create the most powerful team you can possibly imagine. That is a team that you can’t dismantle. That’s a team that will go out every single day and give everything they have because of how much they value their working relationship with their team and with their coaches, with their leaders.
So friends, I hope that you’ve been able to experience a unique look at culture through Listening, Learning, Language, and Love.
And next week we’re going to follow up and talk about the power of Integrity.
But all of these principles are part of the important truth that culture can be chosen.
Friends, now more than ever, is the time for us to come together and believe in the power of chosen culture.
– Ben Utecht
Super Bowl XLI Champion
Culture & Leadership Speaker, Coach, and Corporate Ambassador