Friday, December 28, 2007

3 Reasons to Admire Bill Parcells & Why I Read the Sports Section First

My high school gym teacher would be surprised: The Sports Section is the first newspaper section that I read. And that's odd because I hated gym class, sit-ups and the stupid blue uniforms we had to wear for PE during the 1970s.

But I now realize that a lot of wisdom --about money, career management and life-- is contained in the Sports Section of newspapers (online and traditional). Consider these insights from NFL Legend Bill Parcells -- the new v.p. of operations for the desperate Miami Dolphins.

1. The Importance of Self-Acceptance

After fighting himself, Parcells has accepted the importance of football in his life.

''I've quit being ashamed of what I am,'' Parcells said. ``I think I'm a guy that likes football very much. I guess you call that maybe a male menopause, when you realize and you're no longer ashamed of what you are. . . . I can't get the game out of my system, really.'' -- Bill Parcells

Lesson: There are a number games, scores and replays that I can't get out of my system. Like Parcells, I've learned to just accept my personal playing field and make it work for me.

2. The Role of Evaluation
As he plans to turnaround the Dolphins (1-14), Parcells is taking the time to analyze and review the team.

''I have to evaluate all the things that are here, first of all, and attempt to do that as expeditiously as possible and see where we go from there,'' Parcells said. ``I don't know where that's going to take us.'' -- Bill Parcells

Lesson: From finance to personal development, it's important to consider the options and measure the risks. Lack of information and an absence of self-awareness have contributed to my worst errors. In contrast, my personal victories -- professional and personal -- occur when I have both feet on the playing field and my head in the game.

3. Live with urgency, but plan carefully.

From his new post, Parcells will soon make a number of changes.

''We've got things to do,'' Parcells said. ``I do feel a sense of urgency in that regard, but I'm going to make sure I'm as analytical as possible when it comes to that and hopefully not overlook something that I should have seen or make a mistake in an area that I shouldn't have made a mistake in.'' -- Bill Parcells

Lesson: We don't have an unlimited supply of time, money or natural resources. It's important not to waste opportunities and to find a balance between action and thought.




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