4 things I learned about being a leader from a weekend with the Colts Pt. 2
June 23, 2014 Vicki Ohlerking

4 things I learned about being a leader from a weekend with the Colts Pt. 2

June 23 2014


In a previous post I began to share some things I learned from spending a weekend with Clyde Christensen, one of the coaches of the Indianapolis Colts.

I became a fan.

I now like them almost as much as I like the Broncos.


Here’s what I learned from the Colts:

1. It’s my job to contribute to a healthy culture

2. It’s my job to get better everyday

3. It’s my job to make the people around me better

Everybody – lineman, running backs, nutritionists, operations guys, coaches – are responsible for the guy next to him. That’s why they call it a team sport.

I saw it in the lunch room. I saw it on the field. I saw it from the coaches. Coach Clyde is constantly trying to figure out how he can master the craft of teaching and coaching, not so he will sound better, but so the guys will learn quicker and more completely.

When you get a guy overly concerned about his own stats rather than how he can serve the purposes of the team, you have the beginnings of a crack in team unity. Opposing coaches are looking for an edge. “Where are the cracks? Where are the weaknesses we can exploit?”

Ask yourself: What am I doing to make the team better today?

  • If you aren’t thinking team, then everyone else will pay for your selfishness.

4. It’s my job to defend our house

Winning at home was a big deal. The coaches and players put a lot of emphasis on defending the house.

The week I was there, the Denver Broncos came to town. They were riding a six game winning streak and Peyton Manning was coming back to Indianapolis for the first time wearing an opponents jersey. Emotions were high, on the field and in the stands.

The Broncos All Pro linebacker, Von Miller, was also making his season debut after being suspended for the first six games. He is a ferocious pass rusher and overall disruptive force to opposing offenses.

The Colts coaches worked very hard on a gameplan to defend the house. Miller’s number 58 was circled on whiteboards in the offensive war rooms. They listed his tendencies, weaknesses and strengths. They wanted the Colt quarterback to know where #58 was at all times.

Their planning paid off.

Miller got zero sacks.

The Colts won.

They defended the house.

The Bible says we have an enemy that wants to kill, steal and destroy you, your dreams, your business and your family.

Here’s the question: Do you have a gameplan for defending the house?

  • How alert are you to your enemy’s strengths, tendencies and weaknesses?
  • How about your own?
  • Does the team know that you are on time, alert, working hard to make sure that it’s not going to happen on your watch?

I came away from that incredible weekend with a great deal of respect for the Colts organization. I also came away wondering if they treat a game with more respect sometimes than we treat our mission.

I’m committed to doing all I can to contribute to a healthy culture, get better every day, make the people around me better and defend the house.

How about you?

  • Can the team count on you?