Where Do I Fit Fn

If I had to give one person credit for my success in football—and then for everything after football—it would be my mother. But not for the reasons that are obvious: she fed me, loved me, and cared for me (all of that is true), but beyond that, she kept me in check. I had a father who was struggling with drug addiction and trouble with the law (at that time, he was carrying demons). Since then, my father has worked hard on his demons and defeated them but there have been difficult times.

My mother, I’m sure, carried her anger. But she controlled it. I think she knew that if she lost it and was overly emotional, we would all fall apart. So she saw the big picture, and every step she needed to make to hold the fabric of our family together, she took. She didn’t complain. Her ego didn’t get in the way.

If I had to give up one absolutely solid never-wrong piece of advice that leads to success, that would be the hardest to implement and the easiest to say: we have to manage our egos and emotions when they get in the way.

Learning this from my mother allowed me to see avenues that not everybody saw. Notably, there is a difference between competitiveness and ego. But ego rears its head. It particularly rears its head when we feel behind. In my first year in the NFL, with Denver, my ego had a field day with me. Quitting, and giving in to failure is just ego. The ego thinks you can’t handle failure, so it tells you to quit or not even try.

The hardest thing in any business or personally to do is put in the effort despite the environment.

When the ego says it isn’t worth it, show up anyway.

I had to be reminded of this early in my NFL career.

And I think the only reason this advice saved my career was because of my Mom. She understood this. She modeled this. She instilled this in me.

It became part of my character. And, as leaders, it is the character we must instill into our workplace.

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For more information about Desmond Clark and how he can add value as your next speaker at your conference, go to:
www.dezclarkspeaks.com 

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