The Lombardi Rules
Vince Lombardi's beliefs on how to become a successful person, regardless of the chosen profession.
Today marks the 49th anniversary of the passing of legendary Packer Hall of Fame Coach Vince Lombardi. On June 22, at the Agonis Club at Suttmillers restaurant in Dayton, Ohio, Lombardi gave his final speech. Seventy-three days later, he would succumb to colon cancer.
Lombardi left behind valuable information which can benefit any coach, leader, student, teacher, and parent today. Lombardi's impact reaches many. His words and stories from ex-players paints a beautiful portrait into the man who was driven by faith and obsessed with committing to excellence. In Vince Lombardi's final speech, he shared his principles of success and his beliefs on how to become a successful person—regardless of the chosen profession.
- PURPOSE: What is your purpose today, tomorrow, and in the future? Always spend time asking and answering the question of life's purpose. Asking this each morning allows us to always be in focus.
- YOU’RE BEING WATCHED: Someone is watching you right now. What you do, what you say, how you behave all shape the coach, leader, business person, and parent you genuinely want to be.
- SEEK THE TRUTH: Lombardi defined character as seeking the truth, finding faith, practicing humility, respecting others, and practicing compassion for others. Learn from your past mistakes.
- COMMITMENT: Lombardi learned Latin in school. Therefore, he understood the Latin meaning of the word: “to cut away from.” Success comes from being committed. “The flame of the fire must burn within.”
- MENTAL TOUGHNESS: To achieve, it must start with humility. Simplicity is a form of humility and simplicity is the sign of true greatness. Meekness is a sign of humility, and meekness is a sign of real strength. Mental toughness is spartanism with its qualities of sacrifice and self-denial, also the qualities of dedication and fearlessness and love.
- SACRIFICE: Nothing worthwhile is easy. Be prepared to pay the price, to go the extra mile. Self-denial and personal discipline must rule each day.
- WHAT’S YOUR WHY: As a coach, Lombardi like Bill Walsh viewed himself as a teacher first. Leaders start with "why," not "how" when teaching. He said: "I never tell a player this is my way now do it. Instead, I say, this is the way we do it, and this is why we do it."
The famous Lombardi quote of Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing that may not be his best one. The last line of his Dayton speech offers the essence of how Vince Lombardi lived his life. His final public words are invaluable to all of us regardless of our profession as we live wisely and earnestly in our pursuit of excellence.
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