Thoughts on Leadership: Giving Thanks to Dwight “The Catch” Clark

By Gino Blefari

“[Quarterback Joe] Montana … Looking … Looking … Throwing into the end zone … Clark caught it! … It’s a madhouse at Candlestick …”

This week my travels find me in Northern California, working and preparing to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family. I’m feeling particularly grateful this year not only for my wonderful family but also for the friends who enrich my life in ways inextricable, intangible and extraordinary.

Leaders, as you know, are not born, they’re made, and the fabric of leaders is sewn from all the intelligent, inspiring people around them. One leader I’m thankful to call my close friend is Dwight “The Catch” Clark,” once an obscure, 10th-round draft pick in the 1979 NFL draft—the 249th player chosen—who went on to become Sports Illustrated’s NFL Player of the Year in 1982.  

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Talking Inspiration with Dwight Clark: Preparation and Opportunity

A word from Gino Blefari, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices …

This post is the first in our new “Talking Inspiration” blog series by Dwight Clark, former All-Pro wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers. I was lucky enough to be a 49ers fan in the 1980s and watched my pal Dwight play for my favorite team. Dwight is a five-time Super Bowl champion—two as a player and three in management—but who knows if his great run would’ve ever happened if it wasn’t for that incredible Sunday in January of 1982 … that’s when “Too Tall” Jones and what seemed like the entire Dallas Cowboys defense was chasing quarterback Joe Montana and Dwight was trying to lose Cowboys’ defensive back Everson Walls running across the back of Candlestick Park’s end zone. What happened next has been since memorialized in sports history books forevermore: Dwight caught the winning touchdown pass thrown by Montana and the 49ers won the NFC Championship Game that year. Today, “The Catch” is known as the #7 most memorable play in the NFL and #1 for the 49ers. Dwight’s “Talking Inspiration” posts will provide ongoing perspectives about tackling challenges—in sports, business and life—and I hope you enjoy these pieces of wisdom from a great man, a true football legend and my friend. – Gino 

By Dwight Clark

When I reflect on my career playing with the San Francisco 49ers, one word comes to mind: fortunate. And fortune, as I define it, is the place where preparation meets opportunity. If you think about your life’s most extraordinary featswhether it’s winning Super Bowls or winning business—yes, there’s always some measure of luck involved but there’s also a whole lot of training, planning and hard work that has to happen long before luck arrives. Then, if you’re fully prepared at the exact moment luck finally does ring, you can pick up the phone and answer its call.

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