Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Lessons from Coach K

Last night I witnessed a bit of basketball history when Coach K (Duke) surpassed Bob Knight for most "wins" in Division 1 BB history.  The commentators after the game mentioned that in his early years at Duke, the administration did not give him favorable nods, and there were some voices calling for his resignation.  (One of those years, by the way (1982/83), was the year I had season tickets to Cameron Indoor . . . just walked up to the box office window and bought 'em: $60. The team had, as I recall, but 8 wins that season.)

Coach K has written many books and his leadership insights (not just on BB) are now touted by business execs and corporate big-wigs.  I've found many of his insights usable in family, church and community.  Much of his insight centers on teamwork, hard work, and a family-approach mentality to involving everyone in the success of the organization.  Amen!

About a year ago I wrote a poem that I shared as part of a sermon on being attentive to the "little things" in life.  Interestingly enough, more people asked me for a copy of this poem than any I've written, and the poem started being circulated among some sports teams in the area, and posted on web sites, and then people started writing me to request a copy. I keep a stack of copies now.

It's a poem that teaches a lesson (I hope) . . . and I thought I'd offer it here under my name so people will know that it originated from this weirdo--not Coach K!  But I don't mind if anyone uses it . . . especially Coach K.  Just keep my name on the title page . . . or say, "We can't believe a hick from Brownsburg wrote this."

The Little Things (by Todd Outcalt)

There's a lesson in life that is true to form
And it never wavers or fails:
That if we aspire to build an empire
We cannot overlook the details.

There are no shortcuts to summit the top,
So before you grab for the ring
Be certain you've given your all to the small
And to elementary things.

For success isn't built on one giant leap
Nor a quirky luck-of-the-draw,
But the big things are built on the faithfulness
Of attention to all things small.

Each person holds in his or her hands
The tiniest seeds of the great,
But before we're entrusted with magnificent trees
We must plant, and water, and wait.

There is nothing in life that is not built
On attention to the small,
But we must be faithful in tiny things
Before we are given it all.

This lesson we learn in winter years
But quickly forget in the spring:
If we want to be blessed with far more success,
First honor the smallest of things.

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