WOODY WAS RIGHT

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming more interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.”

Dale Carnegie, writer and lecturer

I’m from Columbus, Ohio. It’s a town that seems to eat, breath, and sleep Ohio State Buckeye Football. Woody Hayes was head coach for the team from 1951 to 1978. He died in 1987. Other people have assumed leadership of the team, but for many fans, Woody is still the man in charge.

In a 28 year career at Ohio State, Woody created a long list of accomplishments. He won five national titles, 13 Big Ten championships and led the Buckeyes to 11 bowl games. Under his command, the team played in the Rose Bowl eight times. Four of his teams went undefeated and another five lost only once. He was twice honored, “Coach of the Year.”

Woody also rolled up a big score when it came to counting fans. For 21 out of the 28 years he was in charge, the school lead the nation in-game attendance. For the other seven, they ran a close second. He had a passion for military history and when he wasn’t coaching players on the field, he was helping them in the classroom. The graduation rate of his athletes was as important to him as winning a game.

His personal creed was also the title of a book he wrote, You Win With People.

His talent on the playing field made him famous. His love for people made him a legend. Bringing with him as many players as possible, he spent countless hours visiting children in the hospital and helping the handicapped. He made several trips to Vietnam. When he found a soldier from Ohio, he would connect with their family upon his return home. Business people and politicians sought his endorsement. They still do. The Ohio State University Trademark and Licensing Service is frequently asked for permission to use his image or name on products such as T-shirts, ball caps, mugs, plates, puzzles, and pictures.

Woody was right. You win with people. Just ask Matt Berlin. He was in a bowling alley and on his way to rolling a perfect game. As he prepared to roll the 12th and final ball required to accomplish his goal, there was a power failure. The alley went black. Fifty minutes later the lights were still out. Matt recruited a half-dozen of his friends, provided them with flashlights and carefully positioned them along the alley. The ball left his hand, the lights swung and the pins toppled. A perfect game.

James Thurber wrote, “There are two kinds of light – the glow that illumines, and the glare that obscures.”

Which one are you?

You win with people – if we take turns holding the light for each other than we all win.

 

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