WE not Me
The following is courtesy of Jon Gordon and his weekly newsletter from February 7, 2022.
I saw a video clip the other day of NFL Wide Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. saying “It’s WE not Me” to his teammates during their recent victory over the San Francisco 49er’s.
You know your leadership and culture is strong when the members of your team and organization speak about and reinforce your core values and principles.
It was five years ago when I met with the newly hired head coach of the Los Angeles Rams, Sean McVay. He was only 30 years old at the time but his leadership IQ and understanding of culture was off the charts. I remember leaving our 5-hour meeting saying, “Wow, he gets it and is going to be a great NFL Coach.”
We talked about leadership and culture and creating core values and principles that drive behaviors, habits and talent toward greatness. We talked about a number of principles including “WE before Me” where everyone in the organization would compete for each other, not just for themselves. They would put the team first and selflessly give their time, energy, and talent to serve the team’s goals. One game they might be the star and another game they might make a selfless play to help the star. They wouldn’t be ego focused. They would be team focused.
Sean created his own streamlined version of John Wooden’s pyramid and We not Me was one of the foundational pillars placed on the pyramid and became one of the core principles of the LA Rams.
Words are one thing but living them is another. Words on a wall or pyramid are meaningless if they aren’t discussed, shared, reinforced, and lived. Every organization today has a mission statement but only the great ones have people on a mission.
In teams with great cultures the words written on the wall come alive in the hearts of minds of all the team members. Great leaders drive the culture by sharing, reinforcing, and engraining their core values and principles into everything they do and everyone in the organization.
When I heard OBJ say “WE not Me” it was clear that the Rams leadership and coaches did a great job ingraining their strong culture in him and as a leader on the field OBJ was further reinforcing the principle to his teammates.
Another indicator that the Rams culture is strong is that since OBJ joined the Rams during week 10 of the season you haven’t heard one negative thing about him. With the Browns and Giants, he was frequently criticized in the media for the wrong reasons. Now his critics are praising him and he’s making headlines for making the right plays and being a great teammate.
That’s the power of culture!
Words and principles spoken and lived transform super stars into super teammates.
WE not Me!
Watch the short clip for Jon’s talk with Sean McVay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDV7ryp3Izc
About Jon Gordon:
Jon Gordon’s best-selling books and talks have inspired readers and audiences around the world. His principles have been put to the test by numerous Fortune 500 companies, professional and college sports teams, school districts, hospitals, and non-profits. He is the author of 20 books including 8 best-sellers: The Energy Bus, The Carpenter, Training Camp, You Win in the Locker Room First, The Power of Positive Leadership, The Power of a Positive Team, The Coffee Bean and his latest Stay Positive. Jon and his tips have been featured on The Today Show, CNN, CNBC, The Golf Channel, Fox and Friends and in numerous magazines and newspapers. His clients include The Los Angeles Dodgers, Campbell’s Soup, Dell, Publix, Southwest Airlines, Miami Heat, The Los Angeles Rams, Snapchat, BB&T Bank, Clemson Football, Northwestern Mutual, West Point Academy and more.
Jon is a graduate of Cornell University and holds a Masters in Teaching from Emory University. He and his training/consulting company are passionate about developing positive leaders, organizations and teams.
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