I presented at a Purina Dairy conference in Wisconsin. The speaker before me was Steve Jones,  Kimberly high school football coach with 4 state championship wins and over a 50 game run without a loss.

A very confident, in control, caring person that used the drive, draw and maintaining pressures to keep the audience hooked on for 90 minutes. He inspired me with the content and his ability as a presenter. Here is my interpretation of some of the things that were important to me.

He talked about creating a culture. The culture for his team was creating winners. Not only on the football field, but in all parts of life. His team members had a accumulative 3.5 grade point average and helped each other succeed. The culture was to do things for the community and help others succeed. Winning was very important. They didn’t think getting an award for second place was winning.

He spoke about leaders. He felt a leader had to be a leader. In our society today, someone that is on time, does their job, and treats others respectfully are looked at as leaders. He indicated that should be average and what we should all be doing. A leader goes beyond average.

One thing I thought was real interesting is how they approached the order of priorities of segments of people. The incoming freshman were the priority and the most important. The second least important were the star players and the lowest on the pyramid the coaches. Everyone was important but the structure was very different and it really made sense to me. This was a very non ego way to approach a very ego driven sport.

One other point he made is that they created a culture of love. Every one really cared about each other, and really put forth the effort to help each other succeed. Not what I expected to hear, but it really is key to success. A desire to succeed not only because of yourself, but because of the others you care about.

I think the problem we have sometimes is that when people are ego driven, winning takes over and that is all that matters. This creates a culture that winning is a negative. If we look at winning as moving the “average” higher, it moves everyone up if we go about it in a positive way. If we win just to show how much better we are than someone else, that ends up being a negative for everyone but the winner.

I’ve really got a good feeling for this. Winners that care. Winners that raise the bar. Winners that create a better culture for those that didn’t win.

Now I’m pretty sure not to many high school football players are reading this scoop loop, but you are. I wish you could have heard him speak. I feel it would have inspired you to think about the culture you want to create and to become a winner in your culture.

We are all a team so to speak in this world. Be a winner and raise the average.

2 thoughts on “Culture

  1. Bonnie

    I’m at DIA gearing up for another work week after a short vacation – this was just what I needed before heading back. It definitely takes a certain culture to maintain the energy and drive for performance improvement, and therein lies the trick (and challenge) to good leadership. Good stuff.

  2. Laure

    Very cool. My daughter has just moved home from Illinois to Wisconsin to teach Agriculture Education at a nearby high school ( my old h.s. In fact). While teachers and FFA Advisors are typically motivators- this is so much more!! Will be forwarding to her to read. Especially as she leaves tomorrow for Appleton to the WI Ag Educators Convention. Thank you Curt, for sharing your experience.

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