Vince Lombardi (1913-1970) was the legendary American Football coach who led the Green Bay Packers to victory at the first two Super Bowls.

The impact that he had on his sport left such a legacy that in 1971, the NFL named their Super Bowl trophy after him.

I stumbled across a few of his quotes a few years ago when researching for a presentation and since then have consistently returned to them for inspiration.

Here are my four favourite Vince Lombardi quotes:

If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you’ll be fired with enthusiasm!

This quote has been a consistently favourite one as it places great emphasis on that very important trait – enthusiasm.  I’ve used it many times when inducting new staff members (despite the protests of my old HR department) and it continues to resonate for me.

Whatever you’re doing in life, do it with passion.  Whether you’re an employee, parent, teacher, coach or church volunteer, get excited about it and do it with enthusiasm.  People will always want you around if you do.

We didn’t lose the game; we just ran out of time

This particular quote really describes the fighting spirit that we would like everyone to use when they play for our team.  There are few things more disheartening when watching your favourite sport than when one team is losing, realise that they can’t win and then just give up without a fight.  How pathetic!

Alas, sometimes it happens in other parts of life as well.  You may be missing a target for the month and realise that it’s mathematically impossible to hit the mark, so you just stop trying.  Why not keep pushing, do your best and build some important momentum for the following month.

Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man. But sooner or later the man who wins, is the man who thinks he can.

This great line reminds me that a winning mentality is crucial to success.  There’s no point in having great qualifications or a terrific skill-set if you still don’t have the confidence in your abilities to go out and grab life by the scruff of the neck.

One of my sporting heroes Larry Bird, reminds me of this principle.  He certainly wasn’t one of the most athletically gifted basketballers of all-time, but his sheer will to win and unerring confidence to take and make the last shot made him a winner and one of the greats of his game.

Coaches who can outline plays on a black board are a dime a dozen. The ones who win get inside their player and motivate.

Whilst this statement was made in the ’60’s, I believe that it is even more relevant today.

If you’re a leader and you want to differentiate from the pack and achieve outstanding results, management skills will only get you so far.  The ability to light a fire in the belly of your people, inspiring them to deeds beyond their previous capability will make you stand out from the crowd and really make stuff happen.

Remember, if all you do is create rules, all that you get a people who follow rules.  Greatness breaks all of the rules and charts a new path for others to follow.

There are my favourites from Vince Lombardi.  Do have another favourite that you would like to share?

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