Tony Dungy is one of the few men who has won a Super Bowl as a player and then turned around and won it as a head coach. He had a reputation for building teams with high character and excellent performance. Finally convinced to write a book about his experiences, he produced Quiet Strength. Over the weekend I finished up the audiobook of this book narrated by Tony himself. There’s a lot of great advice, application of Scripture to life, and an inside look of some of the challenges coaches and players face in the National Football League.
As Tony talked about his coaching philosophy, he shared something that formed part of the foundation of it, something he had gained from being a player and later a coach under the legendary Chuck Noll. One of the things that set apart the Steelers teams of the 70s and one of the things Dungy embraced for the teams he coached was summed up in the following quote:
Do the ordinary things better than anyone else – day in and day out.
Too often we think we have to do extraordinary things to stand out. As a result, we start taking long shots to success. A sounder approach is to look at the things we have to do every day and commit to doing them better than anybody else. When we take this approach, we will naturally stand out. We build consistency, discipline, and attention to detail. And as we solidify the foundation of what we do, we’re in a better position to try harder things and to perform them more consistently. That makes us better overall performers, more valuable to the people around us, and generally more successful. That’s why the ordinary things are so important.
What are the ordinary things in your family, in your job, and in your life? Take a bit of time to rate yourself on how you perform them. If you aren’t performing them at a high level, what do you need to do to change that level of performance? Is there something you are doing better than the people you know? What are you doing differently? Is there anything you can take as a lesson from that area of your life and apply it to the others where you aren’t performing as well? Don’t neglect the ordinary. Instead, seek to do them as Tony Dungy has indicated – better than anyone else – day in and day out.
Biblical Perspective: Doing the Ordinary Things