A Legacy of Leadership

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NFL safety Brian Dawkins retired on Monday. If you don’t follow sports you may never have heard the name. He wasn’t flashy. He was never the face of a franchise. He didn’t have the big endorsement deals. But he was as intense and passionate as any player that has ever played the game of football. What’s even more impressive about Dawkins was this headline that I found, written shortly after his retirement.

He will be remembered for LEADERSHIP.

In an ego driven league, where numbers literally define whether a player is a success or a failure, this is remarkable. It could have been easy to look at the  26 sacks, 37 forced fumbles, 37 interceptions, and 1131 tackles to summarize who Brian Dawkins was. But that’s not the focus of the article. Dawkins was a leader.

Soundtracks-Brian Dawkins

He exuded balance, an essential tool to leadership. As the article accurately describes…

 “He led by example, but wasn’t afraid to speak up when necessary.”

I had the pleasure of getting to watch Dawkins play in the prime of his career, and I was amazed at the way his intensity fired up his teammates.

“even the people who saw him on television sometimes, while living in Yuma or Utah or Yukon, and saw the way he could simultaneously unite one team while dismembering the other” – Rich Hofmann, Philly.com columnist

I’m glad to see someone from the NFL being remembered for more than just big hits, touchdowns, and wins. Leadership is just as essential to being a success.