“You Win With People” – Woody Hayes

Woody Hayes Memorial Issue on April 12, 1987.  Page 1 (Cover)Living in Worthington just a few mere miles down High Street from The Ohio State University I read quite a bit last week on the 100th Birthday of the late Buckeye football coach Woody Hayes.

On this subject I recently read an excerpt about Coach Hayes from Franklin University’s Ross Leadership Institute that I thought was relevant to my life in school district administration and would probably be relevant to you as well.

You Win With PeopleHere is what the Ross Leadership Institute wrote, “With Woody’s recent 100th birthday (Feb 14) it is appropriate that we consider his views on leadership.  You may not know that Woody considered his greatest honor was being asked to speak at the Ohio State commencement in 1986.

Here, in part, is what he said:

. . . .  many times you have found here at the University people who were smarter than you. I found them all the way through college and in football: bigger, faster, harder.  They were smarter people than I. 

But you know what they couldn’t do?  They couldn’t outwork me.  I ran into opposing coaches who had much better backgrounds than I did and knew a lot more about football than I did.  But they couldn’t work as long as I did.  They couldn’t stick in there as long as I could. 

You can outwork anybody.  Try it and you’ll find out you can do it.  The only way we got beaten was if we got a little fatheaded, if we didn’t train well, if we had dissension on the squad, if we didn’t recognize our purpose in life. . . . . .

In Woody’s mind, leadership boiled down to two things: hard work and people. His own hard work set the standard for his people, and that gave rise to his often heard quote, “You win with people!”

How hard are you working?  Are you winning with your people?”  These are good reminders for me.  Work as hard as you can and strive to take care of people!

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