AwareNow: Issuu 17: The United Edition

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Page 91



LEADERSHIP AND THE TITLES THAT FOLLOW I used to think leadership was a title, something bestowed-upon somebody.

A reflection of their position, or power. I was the captain of our high school football team, and charged with arranging spring/summer workouts. Instead, I spent my time playing basketball, ignoring my obligations to my team and coach.

One day my football coach found me, and (some cursing may have been involved) asked me why I wasn’t arranging the football practices as I had promised to do. I mumbled. Perhaps I apologized.

And then he said words that I often repeat on stage when I speak.

This is true in business, sports, and family:

“Son, all you have is your name and your word.”

I’ve been successful in certain things, and some people think that makes me a leader.

But when I coach or speak, I try to make it clear:

My titles or accomplishments have never made me a leader.

They’re irrelevant.

I lead me, and the titles and accomplishments follow.

Other people don’t make you a leader; your actions do.

The true leader has four tools: action, empathy, consistency, and trust.

It took me failing to learn the obvious:

Leaders don’t chase titles or followers.

Titles and followers find leaders. ∎


Speaker, Author & Former NFL Player Empowering sales professionals and leaders with ‘Principles of Winning’ to create a standard of excellence, Desmond Clark is a former star NFL Tight End, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Author, Speaker, and Inspirational Business Coach. During his 12 year tenure in the NFL, he played with the Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, and 8 years with the Chicago Bears, retiring as the second leading Tight End in Bears history for catches, yards, and touchdowns behind only Hall of Famer Mike Ditka. Before entering into the NFL, Desmond set Wake Forest University receiving records and finished his college career as all-time leading receiver in Atlantic Coast Conference history and a degree in communications. For more information about the ‘Principles of Winning’ group coaching course call 863.581.5161 or email