By Gino Blefari
This week my travels find me first in Irvine for a meeting with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties CEO Mary Lee Blaylock and the California Properties team then off to Dallas to meet with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty Texas agent Russell Rhodes, leader of the Russell Rhodes team, PenFed Realty Texas Broker/president Rick Wylie and the entire PenFed Realty Texas team. After that I flew to Detroit and spoke with agents, managers and leadership at Real Living Kee Realty. For each meeting, I delivered several principles for success, specific ideas to follow in order to win.
It’s no surprise winning is on my mind because I just received a text from my good friend and former All-Pro wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers as well as five-time Super Bowl champion, Dwight “The Catch” Clark, who’s on his way to Houston for Super Bowl Media Week appearances. Each summer, as soon as pre-season begins, teams have one Wildly Important Goal (WIG) in mind: Make it to the Super Bowl and then, win the Vince Lombardi Trophy. This trophy—a football resting atop a pedestal that measures 22 inches and 7 pounds of sterling silver glory—is only given to the team that has proven to be the very best in the world.
Why is it called the Vince Lombari Trophy, you may ask? Why not Super Bowl Championship Trophy? Well, it’s an interesting story. On Jan. 15, 1967, the first-ever Super Bowl was played between the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League—whose coach at the time was Vince Lombardi—and the Kansas City Chiefs of the AFL. Green Bay won that game handily by a score of 35-10 and would go on to defeat the Oakland Raiders in the Super Bowl the following year, 33-14. After Super Bowl II, Lombardi retired as head coach of the Packers but not before solidifying his legacy as one of the greatest coaches and leaders of all time.
Still, for the next few years—until 1970 to be exact—Super Bowl winners would receive what was called the World Professional Football Championship Trophy. When Lombardi suddenly died of cancer in 1970, the trophy was renamed the Vince Lombardi Trophy before it was awarded to the Baltimore Colts after they beat the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl V.
Some might imagine the trophy bore Lombardi’s namesake because he was the leader responsible for bringing his team to Super Bowl victory in Super Bowl I and II but it’s really so much more than that; the name, the man, the legend known as Vince Lombari is absolutely synonymous with winning. Lombardi once said, “winning is a habit,” and for him, it truly was. During his 10-year coaching career, Lombardi’s teams won 96 regular season games, which amounted to a .728 winning percentage. He also had an astounding .840 winning percentage in all the pre-seasons he coached and during post-season, was virtually untouchable with a .900 winning percentage, which included five NFL titles.
So, what’s the message? It’s one I’m sure New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, quarterback Tom Brady, Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn and quarterback Matt Ryan are repeating over and over leading up to Sunday’s big game; it’s the idea of habitual, unwavering devotedness to a single, achievable goal — a Super Bowl victory. That’s a powerful message we can all take with us, whether we’re attempting to win a listing, a deal or a new client. We must remain focused, steadfast and unflappable in our devotion to win. “Winning is not a sometimes thing,” Lombardi once said. “It’s an all-the-time thing. You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do the right thing once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit.”
P.S. If you’re looking for a good read to learn more about Vince Lombardi, I recommend When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi.