Dabo Swinney led his Clemson Tigers to the National Championship over the #1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide this week. His interview after the game was heart-warming. He referred to his faith in God and also faith in his players. The interviewer said that Dabo showed more joy than a lot of the other coaches in the sport.
The interviewer asked, “How do you describe the joy of the moment?” And Swinney said, “Well that’s been my word all year, and I tried to be intentional with that, for me personally, joy comes from focusing on Jesus, others and yourself.”
Dabo Swinney was intentional with one word – Joy. That was his word for the whole year. A great coach, as with all great leaders, must be very intentional. They must be intentional with their choices. They must be intentional with their decisions. They must be intentional with their actions.
So, what can you do in your own leadership development to be intentional?
First, decide what your values and beliefs are. What is the code you feel you must live by?
Second, write them down. Create your own “words to live by.” You must decide what is important to YOU. Many people’s values and beliefs are based on how they were raised and their religion. But as we grow into maturity, we decide the things that are most important to us such as teaching, saving, family, giving, health, happiness, art, kindness, gratitude, integrity, learning and so on.
Third, choose one word to focus on this year. Then live that word intently. Focus on it. Post it where you will see it often every day, on your fridge, in your car, in your journal, or on your bathroom mirror.
Fourth, check yourself. Once a week block out 30 minutes to think about how you have intently lived your word that week. Journal about your success and also how you could have done better.
Dabo Swinney exuded joy this week in his big win. It was fun to hear him talk about it. But, had the tide turned (see what I did there) I think Dabo would have sat down with the team that he so dearly loves and would have shown unspeakable joy even at a loss. He is living joy intently and would have found it in the moment either way.
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