Be true to who you are and consistent in that regardless of who is around.
On Super Bowl Sunday, the NFC Champion Carolina Panthers will take the field behind the leadership of their best player, their quarterback and likely the 2015 NFL MVP, Cam Newton. Newton is no stranger to success, having won the Heisman Trophy and National Championship in his lone season in college football before becoming the top overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Newton hasn’t always been without issues, however. He has been dogged with transgressions from his freshman year in college that caused him to attend to a junior college before transferring to the University of Auburn. His body language during games when things weren’t going well made some wonder if he was mature enough to be the face of an NFL franchise. So what changed and why should you consider modeling how he handles himself with his team in your home?
1. Take Ownership of Your Role. As Newton came into his 5th season, he made a conscious decision to become the rallying point for his teammates. He increased his levels of communication, work ethic and most importantly accountability.
There were some bumps along the way, most specifically an on-field training camp scuffle with a defensive teammate. After that incident, however, he came out and took immediate responsibility and said he needed to behave in a manner more fitting of a leader. Admitting his shortcoming and making a declaration to improve won favor among his teammates and coaches.
You will also face times when you are challenged and will fall short. While it is inevitable, it doesn’t have to be damaging. By taking ownership and responsibility, you begin the process of moving forward from a position of leadership.
2. Protect Your House. There have been two high-profile occasions this season where Newton made a demonstrative display of pride for his home field. Back in November, Newton tore down a sign from a visiting Packers fan that was posted at M&T Bank Stadium where the Panthers play and then after a playoff win against the Seahawks where Newton grabbed a ‘12th Man’ sign that a Seahawks fan dangled in his direction and tossed it in celebration. While these actions drew the ire of those fan bases and some media types, they are the exact behaviors that you should exude for your home and family.
You should show a relentless will to make sure that your house and those who occupy and love it are not disrespected by others. You have the responsibility to set the tone of what is and is not acceptable. If you allow anyone and everyone to do and say what they want in your house, especially if it opposes your views and beliefs, then you are falling short of what is expected of you.
You may not do something as dramatic as tearing down a sign, but it is important that those that live in your home and those who visit your home have a clear understanding of what you find acceptable and unacceptable. It reinforces your stature as the leader of the home when you set that tone for your home.
3. Celebrate and Reward Your Family. Newton’s generosity is on display at home when after touchdowns (his touchdowns and teammates who don’t keep the ball themselves) he seeks out a young child to hand the ball to. He celebrates his teammates success and defers credit and accolades to his coaches and teammates whenever the opportunity presents.
Your family is the most important team you will ever be a part of. Don’t be afraid to celebrate all of your victories, large and small with them first. Be generous with not only your material goods but with your time and your love as well.
4. Be Unapologetic About Being Yourself. That smile. The first down sign. The ‘Dab’. These are things that Newton has become increasingly known for as he led his team to the Super Bowl. Newton has made a habit of doing things in unconventional ways. From the way he plays and celebrates on the field, to the way he dresses in postgame press conferences, to how he ‘creatively’ speaks to the media in press conferences and even how he works in the community.
He is comfortable in his skin and isn’t concerned with how you or anyone outside of his coaches, teammates, organization and fans feel about it. Sure, those things rub some people the wrong way… and that’s perfectly fine.
You don’t have to be all things to all people; you just have to be the person that your family loves and respects. Your family knows you better than anyone else and they can and will see if you are anything less than genuine. Be true to who you are and consistent in that regardless of who is around. Just be you!
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