Would you like to reach hall of fame success as a leader?
I have been fortunate to receive invaluable leadership lessons from personal and professional relationships with five individuals who have achieved hall of fame level recognition in their professions. Their guidance and personal example would benefit anyone in a leadership role.
These inspiring men are Bill France, Sr., a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame and founder of NASCAR and the International Speedway Corporation; Bill France, Jr., also a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, who followed his father at the helm of the family’s motorsports empire; Les Richter, a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame; Jim Hunter, member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame; and Steve Ridder, member of the NAIA Basketball Hall of Fame.
These hall-of-famers share a number of personal performance characteristics.
- Being visionary while still paying attention to the smallest of details
- Having a willingness to sacrifice short-term outcomes for long-lasting results
- Being willing to pitch in and help get a job done, regardless of how menial the task
- Possessing an unrelenting work ethic—especially when focused on a difficult challenge—and a commitment to anyone or any task, always going all-in
- Setting high expectations for themselves and those working with them
- Being 100 percent authentic and not forgetting where they came from
- Always following through on commitments
Bill France, Sr. was a dreamer who believed in taking action. With original attribution uncertain, Bill, Sr., often quoted, “On the plains of hesitation lie the bleached bones of those who, when close to grasping victory, sat and waited—and while waiting, died.”
Bill France, Jr. sought the opinions of others when in decision-making mode. His “Is the trouble worth the trouble?” question was a qualifying standard for new ideas.
The most valuable advice I ever received from Bill was, “Anticipate. Solve your problems in advance.”
Les Richter’s focused commitment to excel carried over from football to the business world. When facing any challenge, this results-driven super achiever always took time to first map out a strategy.
Les spent time to research the issue at hand to ensure he had command of any necessary background. He identified priority relationships for a support network critical to success. His willingness to compromise helped convert potential opponents to supporters. Les was a consummate team player always deflecting the spotlight onto others.
Public relations wizard Jim Hunter’s wise counsel and mentorship shaped an entire industry. He invested in people by giving encouragement and creating opportunities when he saw potential and willingness to work.
Coach Steve Ridder has led the building of an athletic powerhouse at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. His recruiting standard is based on “the total package of student-person-player” and he demonstrates an unwavering commitment to excellence.
Steve’s best advice to me: “Get the right people, in the right positions.”
Follow the direction of these five extraordinary individuals and you’ll be on the path to hall of fame leadership success.