Character and Work Ethic

I lost a contract worth more than $1M by breaking my arm in training camp, going into my fourth season in the NFL. I was cut.

I signed with Miami, but their rookie TE performed well while I rehabbed, and I didn’t grasp the offense well enough to contribute effectively when I was healthy. After my best year in 2001, I was suddenly a third-stringer and not seeing playing time in 2002.

I begged to play on special teams. Understand: My contract incentives were all about offensive production.

I became an excellent special teams player.

The next year, I received two contract offers. One, incentive-laden from Miami.

And one, a $9M deal, from Chicago.

I was as shocked as anybody.

Why, a year after I caught, exactly, two passes, would they offer me this contract?

They said, “Special teams. Character. That’s why we want you as our starting Tight End”

I think we often, particularly in business, have it backward:
Good businesses don’t invest in results. Good businesses invest in good character and a strong work ethic, which leads to results.

We don’t often control our good years or bad years; but we always control whether or not we are worthy of investment, even if no one is investing.

Character and work ethic are leading indicators of results.

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