By Michael Trasatti, CEO
Every now and then you witness something truly inspiring. I was recently reminded such an occurrence….
It was late December and I was watching the Fiesta Bowl. As many of you remember, this years match up was Clemson v. Ohio State.
During the game, Clemson just tore apart Ohio State, unlike anything even Ohio State had ever experienced. It was amazing to watch. Of course not for Buckeye fans, but certainly for Clemson and my hope that if my beloved VT had to lose, let’s lose to a winner.
Well, after the game, I was curious to see how this could happen. Listening to the Clemson coach, Dabo Swinney, give his post game interview it became apparent this was no accident.
As I listened to his comments, it was evident he did not build a football team, he built a family.
Every comment he made was revolved around the team, their love for each other, their total commitment that each player had value, from the walk-on to the superstar. It was impressive to say the least.
So, you think it would end there, but…
great leaders don’t just talk the talk… they walk the walk. The best… they walk with others in stride.
The star quarterback Deshaun Watson spoke next. It was amazing to say the least.
He was living what his coach preached. He was humble, knew his talents came from a power greater than his own, spoke about beating the best to be the best, praised his teammates for his success. Throughout the entire press conference never really mentioned himself.
And when it was done he, along with many other players, were hanging around taking pictures with kids, with their fans…they were having fun…all of them.
So, Watson ends his speech with a comment from the announcer, he knew the team’s motto all year was “embrace the target”. Watson embellished,
”the great ones…run toward the target…with no doubts”.
With this team, there were no doubts… just focused attention, and a rule to believe in yourself. The rest took care of itself.
Impressive… the crazy part is, it does not end there.
As we all know (or at least those that watch college football know), Clemson beat the best of the best. And how did they do that?… the same commitment the coach started 8 years ago,
they build a family, where anticipation meets preparation, hard work and focused attention to ones teammates is what matters.
So, in the last two minutes… Clemson down by 3 points with a few seconds left… within yards of their end zone… Watson was calm, his teammates were calm, and from his interview, simply stated to his team,
”Let’s be great, let’s be legendary”.
And from that last huddle, he calls a play that passes the ball to a walk-on… someone who as many would say was not supposed to be there… and scores the winning touchdown. The coach simply stated after the game., “you can’t make this stuff up”.
Reflecting this back onto ourselves personally, our company (and the Automobile Industry as a whole), and what we and all of our Automobile Dealer clients are setting ourselves out to achieve…
We have plenty of adversaries who want to see us fail.
Although we have seen adversity, we have already achieved great things.
But most importantly…
we are all building a family.
It’s not easy, but it comes with a purpose, a purpose greater than ourselves.
We all need to simply embrace our goal, and strive to hit our target.
Whether that be to be the best salesperson in your dealership, or
the best manager for your staff, the best dealership for your customers…
Or in the case of myself and DealerBuilt- to be the best DMS and serve our clients better than any other provider on the planet.
As the defensive player of the game so humbly gave his emotional speech during their victory parade a few days after the game, he simply demonstrated the same belief system seen from the beginning. He cited from 1 Corinthians 9:24,
”In a race everyone runs, but only one wins first prize, so run your race in a way to win”
Run your race together, as a team, as a family, and run it to WIN.