Relationships Mean EVERYTHING

I know it seems I say this every week, but man! I sure am proud of these guys for all they've done to make this year what it was. They overcame last year's afflictions, yet also learned from last year's despairs. It made them better young men, and this year we saw the fruits of what they learned. I am so proud of them. While we felt like we had a chance to win a few of the games we lost, ultimately, we are thankful to be in the position that we are in. When you look back at where we were 12 months ago, "thankful" is an understatement. Hard work, determination, grit, and relentlessness are words I would use when describing this 2018 Cherokee Warrior Football team. What a great way to model that, as they did last week in the overtime win versus Lassiter to end the regular season. What a great win!

Of course, we are all excited about the next opportunity that we have before us and we couldn't wait to get back to work with these young men this week. Like we do every week, we started off with our Character Education meeting, and I spoke this week on Relationships. You see, life is ALL about relationships. Its not about the size of the car you drive, the size of your home, how much money you have or don't have in the bank, but it's about healthy relationships with those around you. I want our guys to understand that. They will face all sorts of temptations in the real world very soon to just focus on themselves. The world sells us all on "just worry about you." Yet, that couldn't be further from the truth in what it takes to have a happy and successful life. Jon Gordon says, "To build a strong team, family and organization you need to have great relationships. To have great relationships you must invest your time and energy in your relationships." I'd like to share with you some of the points I shared with our team this past Monday .I used information from my favorite author, Jon Gordon, for our lesson on Relationships. He calls them the 4 C's of improving relationships for your organization, team or family.

  1. Communication - Communication builds trust. Trust generates commitment. Commitment fosters teamwork and teamwork delivers results. It all starts with great communication. Unfortunately, many relationships and teams suffer from poor communication. A lack of communication leads to voids and where there is a void in communication negativity will fill it. We must make time to communicate consistently and constantly in order to fill the void. In a world filled with useful technology, may we not hide behind our devices and neglect opportunities we must effectively communicate with those we work with and those we love.
  2. Connect - Communication begins the process of building trust but connection is where a bond of trust is created. Connecting is essential because you'll never have commitment without connection. If you want a committed relationship and a committed team you must make the time to connect with them. A quick tip is to intentionally connect with one person on your team or one person you lead each day. It doesn't have to take a long time. Even 10 minutes will make a difference. Ask them how they are doing and really listen. Have a meaningful conversation. Ask how you can help them. If every leader and team member did this, we would have much stronger teams. We then discussed the importance of taking the time to connect at home, too. These days, its too easy NOT to work on connecting with those we love. We MUST make time to apply these principles to our home lives, as well as our corporate lives.
  3. Commit - Everybody wants their team or family members to be committed but if you want commitment from others you have to show your commitment to them. It starts with you. Commitment always looks like service and sacrifice. Commit to your team or family by finding ways to serve them and make them better. In fact, start by picking one thing you will do to be a better team member. When you commit to your team members and team you demonstrate that WE is more important than me and you become the leader and team you are meant to be.
  4. Care - If you knew someone cared about you and had your back would you be more open to their feedback? Of course you would. And it's the same with your team members. When people know you care about them, they will be more likely to care about you and what you have to say. The often-used quote "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care" is so popular for a reason. It's true. Don't just show up and go through the motions. Instead, show your team members that you care about them. When you care you build a team that cares. A team that cares builds greatness together.

This week, as you already know, we have the wonderful privilege and opportunity to play at Lowndes High School. If you've ever headed south to Florida on Interstate 75 South, then you have seen this stadium. Over the years, this program has had unprecedented success and has won 5 state titles, with 3 titles coming under Coach Randy McPherson. When you think about how we were all sitting at home this time last year, we will gladly load up the buses this afternoon and head down south to take on the Vikings of Lowndes High School. They are a tremendously talented football team and we are excited for the challenge.

I can never thank you enough for all each of you have done to make this year so special. We aren't planning on ending the season this Friday night, but should things not go our way, know I love and appreciate each of you. You make us what we are, and we can never thank you enough. The "relationships" I have with this place is so special. Relationships DO matter and I am so thankful for what we have here. In this season of "Thankfulness" know from the bottom of my heart, this Coach sure does love and appreciate each and every one of the Warrior Nation. Go Warriors! #PTC18