By MaryEllen Tribby
It is beyond sad; it is down right sickening what many of our hero athletes have turned into.
I am sure you had the same revolting visceral reaction as I did when you saw Baltimore Raven's star running back, Ray Rice, brutally beat his then girlfriend, now wife, in an elevator.
If that wasn't bad enough, we had to witness him casually drag her unconscious body out of the elevator. And not once did we observe this, we saw this video tape over and over again.
And of course later that week the Minnesota Vikings horror story was revealed.
Pictures of their star running back Adrian Peterson's son surfaced. In these pictures you can witness the pure hell this four-year-old child endured from a beating by his father.
A Real Fallen Hero
This was doubly horrifying for me.
First and foremost just to comprehend the unadulterated terror, confusion and pain this baby endured continually makes me nauseous. And to think in this day and age, some people think it is perfectly appropriate to viciously beat a child like that in the name of discipline.
Next, I was so sad for my son, Connor. Just last year, Connor was required to do a report on a "hero" for school. He chose Adrian Peterson. He spent hours doing research and writing this report.
As I have shared with you previously, Connor is not big on school. But here he was doing a project he was actually excited about. He was able to incorporate his greatest passion, football into his schoolwork.
Each night at the dinning room table he would share with us what he had learned about Peterson. Connor admired him for overcoming so many obstacles - a father in prison and a brother killed by gang members.
This was someone Connor wanted to emulate, someone Connor looked up to.
The look of disappointment on Connor's face and the sense of his confusion was heartbreaking for me.
A Modern Day Hero
Luckily for me, I had recorded a special on TV a week earlier, a special we were all able to watch as a family. The special was called:
"Derek Jeter: Salute 2 The Captain"
Everyone who has kids that are serious about sports should sit down and watch this special with them. Everyone who has kids who are passionate about anything from poetry to chess should watch this special with them.
And frankly anyone who has a business or wants to start his or her own business should watch this special.
Because every business needs a hero!
The special on Derek is more than just a comprehensive look at his career.
It is a playbook on building a legacy. It showcases not only Derek's accomplishments but also breaks down the distinctiveness REQUIRED to be a modern day hero.
Let's discuss them now and how you can apply them to your life and business.
The Six Distinctive Characteristics of a Hero
- Passion - From the time Derek was a little boy he loved the game of baseball. In every interview you hear him say that he couldn't imagine doing anything else. Also he says that when he is playing baseball is when he feels the most alive.This is how you should feel about your business. You should feel you were born to start/own or work in the business you spend the majority of your time with.
- Respect - You have to give respect to get respect. Derek has shown respect for the game since he was a kid. As an adult every time he hit the ball he ran 100% full out to first base. He tried for every play in the field. He showed constant respect to the game, to the Yankee organization, to his teammates and to the fans. And because of that he is one of the most respected players to EVER play the game.Even rival teams respect him. They respect what he single-handedly did for the game of baseball.Now ask yourself if you show respect for your team members, colleagues and supervisors. If you do not, chances are good that the current situation could change very soon - and not by your choice.
- No Excuse Zone - I have written many times before that excuses are easy, but having a successful business takes effort. Well like me, Derek hates excuses. Mostly because excuses are a waste of time. Instead of making excuses, just do the necessary work.I know some projects seem overwhelming and the only thing you can do is makes excuses for not getting it done. Instead try breaking that project down into little tasks and accomplishing them one at a time.
- Visualization - At eight years old Derek hung a Yankee uniform on his wall in his bedroom and told his parents that he was going to be the New York Yankee's shortstop when he grew up. He looked at that uniform everyday and said those words to himself. He kept his goal close to him visually and in his heart.Do you have a way of reminding yourself of your goals on a daily basis? If not, start today. Create a vision board or a word document that you post. Make sure that you see it first thing in the morning. It should represent the outcome of your efforts.Now does this replace working hard to achieve your goals? Of course not. But what it does is serve as a constant reminder of your goals with the prize at the end of the hook.
- Work Hard and Smart - Of course Derek had raw athletic talent - as do many of our fallen heroes of today. But what separates him from so many is his work ethic. The special shares a story about when Derek was just a rookie and he had a ridiculous amount of errors for the season. Instead of giving up or making excuses, he spent months working on his skills AFTER their regular workouts.Even years later, as the Yankee captain, Derek was the first one to arrive at the field before a game to get extra practice. And his off-season workouts took place everyday.How much time do you spend learning and honing your skills? Even if your business is up and running, you need to be learning and working on some aspect of your business each day.
- Support Systems - Derek was very good at creating support systems. These support systems included his parents and coaches and trusted friends.This too, I have written about before. Everyone needs support systems in business and in life. They need to be people whom you trust and have your best interest at heart. Do not try to go it alone!
This TV special let us know that at in a time where unthinkable acts of violence are committed by people our own kids look up to, there is hope!
The End of an Era
After 20 years as the New York Yankee shortstop and holding more Yankee records and major league baseball records, poignantly Derek Jeter retired yesterday.
So many of us Yankee fans and Jeter worshipers had tears in our eyes as he played his last major league baseball game, ironically in Fenway Park.
We will miss his passion and leadership. However, we will continue to explain to our kids that this is what commitment and dedication can do for you.
And at the end of the day you must believe to achieve!
In honor of Derek, a modern day hero and one of the best role models for everyone, and to help combat the horrors inflicted by others, I invite you to look at The House of Ruth - http://houseofruthinc.org/our-history.
Their mission is to advocate and assist women and children who have been victimized by domestic violence. They help transform their lives by providing shelter, programs and education. They also contribute to social change through community awareness.
So today, please find it in your heart to donate to a cause like this or one that you believe will help battered women and children!
Let's help transform society and create more modern day heroes like Derek Jeter.
Oh and take a look at this photo. It is from Mikaela's 16th surprise birthday party three weeks ago. As Jeter has always been a hero to Mikaela, I had a life size cardboard cut out made. This is Mikaela and her softball friends!