Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Leading By Example

One of my favorite Ohio State Buckeye sites is Bucknuts.com. Jerry Rudzinski, a former Buckeye player writes a column every now and then. Recently he wrote about James Laurinaitis, the talented Junior linebacker for the Buckeyes. Last week James made the decision to pass up millions of dollars in the NFL to stay in school for his Senior season.

Accountability and credibility. That is what makes a great captain. James lives both accountability and credibility. As a captain addresses the team and states “team” and “sacrifice” and “unselfishness” and a death-to-self attitude, you want somebody accountable to those words. James led by actions (see Butkus Award), but he also vocally guided the Buckeyes to yet another Big Ten Championship. It is not lip service when he asks for a team-first mentality.

If that guy is captain of my team, you bet I am working my tail off to contribute everyway possible. Laurinaitis did not take the natural path to the riches of the NFL. Even Coach Tressel publicly commented that it made sense for guys like James to leave early.

Think about the situation this offseason – “I am a sophomore for the Buckeyes. It is 90 degrees outside in mid-July. We have to run gassers after a tough lift. James is running right next to me. He won the Butkus. He won Big Ten Championships. He has played in two straight National Championship games. By the way, he just turned down literally tens of millions of dollars to come back for this 2008 season. Gee, do you think I should make my times or should I quit and just go through the motions because I’m so tired?”

I’d really like to see the guy that could look James in the eye during the next 12 months after not giving it everything they had.

Isn't that true? James Laurinaitis will have a big impact on others simply because of his presence. He has shown an unselfishness in this decision. He has shown he cares about his teammates. He has shown he wants to work hard so the team can have success. He has shown how to be a solid citizen and how to love the Lord during this process (He said that he leaned on the Lord to help him with this decision). He is truly a leader--one who leads by example.

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