Vince Lombardi once said that if you find someone with a lot of heart and a lot of head that person will never come off the field second. NFL legend and Hall of Famer Raymond Berry told me that his coach with the Baltimore Colts, Weeb Eubank, always looked for smart, tough players. Weeb won three world championships with that mentality, two of those championships considered the most important games in NFL history, the 1958 "Greatest Game Ever Played" and the 1967 Jets Super Bowl win over the Baltimore Colts. It was great payback for Weeb, considering the Colts fired him just a few years prior.
Most remarkable things that man has achieved were at one time considered impossible. We spoke about the Wright brothers recently. Building a heavier than air flying machine was considered impossible by most people at the beginning of the 20th century. Anyone who has traveled a long distance by plane is certainly glad that the Wrights persisted with a lot of heart and incredible intelligence.
I often wonder what someone from 150 or more years ago would think if they were suddenly brought into the 21st century; they would probably think we were all magicians or from another planet. Imagine their perspective just seeing a plane overhead, cars whistling down the road, electric lights, television, radio, cell phones, the mass abundance of food, shelter, water, flushing toilets and so much more. Just watch a movie today with the amazing special effects and you would believe that literally anything is possible and actually could be happening right now. All these inventions that we take for granted in our everyday life are beyond the imagination of someone from the past. Realize that because of the daring of big thinkers and bold entrepreneurs, those people with a lot of heart and a lot of head, most of the poor people in America live better than the kings and queens of olden times.
Having a lot of heart and a lot of head to me means that someone has an internal toughness that will do whatever it takes to win while at the same time being thoughtful about the process. This person is not just going off halfcocked with little or no plans or direction. I believe Raymond is a perfect example of heart and head. First, just to give an indication of his intelligence, Raymond was an academic All-American in college, diligently doing his work to excel both in the classroom and on the field. Raymond is an analytical type and transferred that classroom work mentality into the study and preparation required to become the best at his position in the NFL. As for heart, Raymond was willing to do more work, because he cared more than most of his teammates and competitors. Raymond wasn't necessarily as fast or as big as some others in his position, (he was barely 185 pounds when he played) so in adapting to his limitations, he became the first great "possession receiver" in the league. Because of his lack of size and speed, he was often catching passes over the middle, in front of fearsome defenders like Dick Butkus and Sam Huff, and couldn't blink while the ball was in the air. He was smart enough to master his position and tough enough to excel against tremendous competition.
Don't these same challenges generally exist for all of us under a different set of circumstances? We better know our business and become a master when it comes to the details and processes we need to succeed. We had better be tough enough to withstand the adversity and challenges that today's incredibly difficult business environment brings when we are trying to build a business, a life, even a legacy without hesitation.
The president of the first company I was with used to say that you could beat 50% of the competition just by showing up and the next 40% by simply working hard, but that last 10% was a dogfight. As two time Heisman trophy winning running back Archie Griffin used to say, "It's not the dog in the fight that matters; it's the fight in the dog." Playing your game with a lot of heart and a lot of head won't necessarily guarantee great success but it certainly gives you the absolute best chance possible.
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