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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

E is for Empowering

"Gentlemen, we are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it, because nothing is perfect. But we are going to relentlessly chase it, because in the process we will catch excellence."
- Vince Lombardi's words from his first team meeting with the Green Bay Packers.

E is for empowering. 

Entrepreneurs empower others. 

I got a whiff of this long before I became a leader or an entrepreneur.  I loved watching NFL Films and how they would run down the "best of all" players at key positions.  I discovered after a few viewings that Bart Starr and some other key players had all played on the same team- the Green Bay Packers.  They all played on the team coached by Vince Lombardi.  There had to be something about Lombardi that caused these men to excel at this gridiron sport.

Empowerment.

Vince Lombardi called on his players to take ownership of their actions.  He urged them to take every action into consideration in regards to what it meant for the team and its collective goal.  He offered his men the focal point of excellence, shared what it took to achieve such a lofty goal and allowed them to seek it out as their own.  Much like John Wooden is to college basketball, Vince Lombardi is to professional football.

The entrepreneur can learn how to empower others like Lombardi.  He or she simply needs to understand motivation and messaging.  The motivator has a message and that message must be motivational.  You lose good people when you fail to motivate them to go on beyond their current status.  Motivation takes one beyond the state of mediocrity.  Mentor and coach your people to deliver results that help the team win, not just the individual.

Engraved in Ebony
Richard Allen
(1764-1835)

Richard Allen is best known as the founder of the African Methodist Episcopal denomination, the first independent African American denomination in the United States.  However, this former slave served as a social reformer, an educator, and a businessman.  In the city known as the "City of Brotherly Love," Richard Allen left a lasting impression on Philadelphia through the Free African Society as well as the establishment of the AME Christian denomination.

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