Leadership in Action
After entering the hospital and taking the elevator to the proper floor, NFL coach Don Shula walked down the hallway and entered a numbered room. He moved toward the bandaged figure on the bed.
The patient recognized him, smiled as best he could, and raised an arm from which several tubes dangled.
Thanks for coming, coach.
How you doing? inquired Shula.
Oh, okay replied the bed-ridden man whose mournful look told a much different story.
There was a long pause as the two men looked at each other. Finally, Shula leaned in – his prominent jaw jutting close to the patient’s face.
Listen, Mike, I need you in training camp in July – on the field, ready to go. We’re going all the way this year.
After recovering from bone cancer, Mike Westhoff, still the special-teams coach for the Miami Dolphins, said of Shula:
I thought he would tuck me in, but he didn’t. He treated me the way I could be, not the way I was.
~Adapted from an article in Success magazine