Higher Motivation

Birds have always held a fascination for me. Not the sparrows, robins and blue jays that land in the crepe myrtles outside my office window. I like the big, soaring, graceful birds of prey: eagle, falcon and hawk.

The houses on our side of the street back up to a power company easement, so there is a long field probably 50 yards across with two of those big metal towers that carry lines elsewhere buried throughout the neighborhood. Two weeks ago a red tail hawk started roosting high in the air atop one of them.

Of course, I had to get out binoculars to take a close-up look. Then I had to get my family outside to see. Then I had to get my neighbor over and share the excitement of ‘my hawk.’ It took about two minutes for him to one-up me with: ‘Let’s walk back here about three houses and I’ll show you something even better.’ Across the field, nearly hidden in the forest of pine trees were two hawks guarding a nest. “I got my binoculars yesterday,” he said. “There are babies in the nest.” It’s a family.

Energy comes into our lives from many places. For some it’s a morning cup of coffee. Others find it in fruit. Kids prefer Frosted Flakes. For many years running did it for me. Last summer I switched to swimming and – once I figured out how to breathe – that does the trick. However, nothing is more uplifting than the instantaneous surge I feel when I see ‘my hawk’ sitting on his 100-foot high perch or soaring gracefully over the field.

Where does energy find you?


Rah Rah Sis Boom Bah!

The college football season kicks off tonight, which means it’s only two days until my beloved Texas Longhorns – yes, I bleed Burnt Orange – take the field against Louisiana-Monroe. Now before you laugh at the Warhawks chances against the preseason #2 team in the nation, remember it was just two years ago they upset Alabama, and the Crimson Tide’s head coach is the highest paid in the game.

One trait Mack Brown, Nick Saban and other mega-millionaire coaches share is the ability to observe players, determine what each does best, and place them in positions to succeed. When Mack had Ricky Williams running to the Heisman, Texas was a power-I team. A few years later, they instituted the zone read to take advantage of Vince Young’s speed at quarterback. Last year, Colt McCoy set an all-time record for percentage completion. Three different superstars; three different approaches. Lots of wins.

Business leaders would do well to take a lesson from college football coaches. Instead of struggling to fit your team members into your preconceived views/job descriptoins of what they need to be doing, look at their talents and figure out what they would be best at doing. Then go and recruit others to fill in the gaps.

At Texas, the best athletes also perform on special teams. Thus, Sergio Kindle, a preseason All-America lineman, is on the punt block unit, and Jordan Shipley, who has 132 career pass receptions, returns punts and kickoffs. When you have talented people, find a way to keep them on the field doing what they do better than anyone else.