I love it when sports gives me the best illustration ever…


Disobeying a team rule.

Not an NCAA rule. Not a law. Not even a MSU rule. An undisclosed team rule.

It was for that, Coach Mark Dantonio benched his best player, his team captain, his undisputed leader of his tea. An undisclosed team rule.

That’s principled coaching.

I’ve been teaching the 7 Habits on the Inside (this is 7 Habits of Highly Effective People applied to prisoners living prison life) twice a week for 6 months now and once a week for over a year before that. It’s safe to day (as I am not deep into my 10th class) I am fully immersed in the 7 Habits lifestyle/program/cool aide…

Most basic to the program is living by principle.  Not living by indulgence, need, or want – principle. The idea that I know who I am, what I want, and what legacy I am leaving – I live to that. I live by my thought about, analyzed, tested principles.

This is why I loved watching the Spartans tonight. They played their football. The knowledge that they benched their best player on no less than the biggest game they have played for two decades, the 100th Rose Bowl, national television, Stanford. They benched their Player for an undisclosed team rule on the biggest game ever for everyone on that team.

That’s a principled team.

Then, there is Habit 2 – Begin with the End in Mind – living your life according to your vision. Seeing your legacy and then living according to that legacy rather than the one that comes by living out the default setting.

A year ago, Mark Dantonio walks on to the Rose Bowl field. Stands in the endzone and sees it all happening. His daughter captures the moment on a cell phone. He tells his team in the video that this is where they are going. A year before it happens, he stands on the field and sees it all before it takes place. Then, he takes his team there.


Living by Principle and Vision.

Thanks Coach. I’m going to get a solid 20 minutes of great discussion out of this…

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