Another post inspired by last week’s accounting conference! On Wednesday, the luncheon keynote speaker was retired Blue Bomber football player Doug Brown. Doug Brown retired after a 15 year career in pro ball, 11 years in the CFL and 4 years in the NFL. He’s won multiple awards, and other than a major championship has had a decorated career by anyone’s standards. I have to preface this with a note – I’m not much of a football fan, but I’ve enjoyed reading Doug’s columns in the local paper for years, and he always came across as a genuinely nice person in interviews and appearances.
The topic of his speech was Succeeding Through Adverse Times in an Adverse Game. An educated, articulate speaker, Doug gave an inspiring presentation full of humour and local anecdotes. However, at points in his presentation he touched on a few subjects that got me thinking about my own career and future.
In general terms, the talk covered adapting to change – regime changes, which include new coaches, new positions, new managers. All of this is not really different from companies going through mergers & acquisitions, management changes and workplace reorganizations.
He did say one specific thing that really got me thinking. He was listing things he had learned from 18 different coaches over the years, and one major thing he learned was to work for what he wanted. He couldn’t control the changes, he couldn’t make people believe in him. All he could do was work as hard as possible to get what he wanted, to keep playing professional football.
I want to work in a casino. I want to be a casino manager, not in Manitoba. But wanting it won’t make it so. I have to work for it. I can’t control my career where I am, but I can work hard to drive my career where I want it to go.
So there – lessons learned from a professional football player. Most important lesson? Keep an open mind, you can find inspiration anywhere.