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    FIGHTING IRISH "Linebacker in the Boardroom: Lessons in Life and Leadership" by Marvin A. Russell and published in 2011 by Outskirts Press, Inc.
    FIGHTING IRISH
    "Linebacker in the Boardroom: Lessons in Life and Leadership" by Marvin A. Russell and published in 2011 by Outskirts Press, Inc.
    FIGHTING IRISH

    Oct. 6, 2011

    This is an excerpt from "Linebacker in the Boardroom: Lessons in Life and Leadership" by Marvin A. Russell and published in 2011 by Outskirts Press, Inc. Russell played linebacker at he University from Notre Dame from 1973-75.

    I OFTEN SAY THAT I played football my whole life. However, the reality is that my football career lasted 10 years. But those years had such significance in who and what I am today; it's hard not to think of football as something that has been a part of me forever. I am one of those rare, lucky men who had the experience, honor, and pleasure of playing on a college football national championship team. When people see that big national championship ring on my finger, they ask one question: What was it like to play football at the University of Notre Dame? They want to know every detail of every ritual, tradition and feeling. What really happens before the game in the locker room? What happens at practice? Did you know Rudy and Montana? What was this guy like, or that guy? What was the difference between Ara Parseghian and Dan Devine? The questions go on and on and on. My answer always begins something like this:

    "It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. But most people see only the glory, the end result, the rings and the trophies and the names in the record books and the old film. They don't see the sweat and feel the exhaustion or go through the pain. I've had 19 knee surgeries, including three complete knee replacements, relating to football - so far. But you know what? I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat."

    I found it impossible to write a book about leadership without discussing aspects of my college football career and Notre Dame, the university I attended. This part of my life played a pivotal role in how I see the world. I started this book years ago on a beach on the island of in Corsica off the coast of France, while living and working in Europe. As my career and family moved on, to different jobs and different cities, I sometimes set the manuscript aside. Other times I worked on it in flurries. Looking back, I'm glad that I did it that way, in spurts. The world has changed and I have changed and grown in my understanding of the world and how I have been impacted by life experiences; taking the extended time to reflect and think has helped give me more perspective and context.

     

     

    The impact of my sports career is the foundation for who I am today. However, in this book I have taken the opportunity to share with you not only my experience inside the locker room of the Notre Dame football experience and how it exemplifies and creates inspired leadership, but more importantly, I have shared with you how we as leaders evolve. I have had a rewarding business and professional career that has allowed me to live and work in other countries. I have attempted to provide an understanding of what it takes to persevere against the odds, and how to achieve superior performance both on and off the field. I have attempted to provide ideas, thoughts and inspiration: thoughts and inspirations for the leaders of today and tomorrow.

    Leadership can be a convoluted subject, far too often confused with management or managing people. The number of definitions goes on forever. But there is a level of consistency in the concept that says leadership is about the ability to influence the thoughts, expressions, and behavior of others. Our world seeks out and is drawn to those who have the ability to lead. But leadership is not necessarily the ability to lead or influence in a positive way. History is full of leaders responsible for leading others toward devastating, destructive behavior.

    The difference in leadership and management is simple. Management is authority and power given to execute tasks, whereas leadership goes beyond authority, and rewards the ability to influence others without the benefit of power or dominion over others. The leadership I will speak about will be grounded in the acceptance of responsibility for doing things and behaving in the most humane and professional manner. It is a moral belief that as individuals we must behave ethically and be accountable for our actions, and be conscious of our decisions and the impact those decisions have on the environments we serve.

    To be a successful leader, we need to arm ourselves with a series of critical personal, behavioral, and skill dimensions that are not often addressed. There is hardly a business consultant who doesn't have a formula for achieving leadership greatness. But we all know that someone else's formula may not work for us. I'm using the lessons of my experiences and models of success and failure to inspire new, yet simple ways of thinking - ways that we can find our own paths to leadership instead of trying to mimic what worked for other people who are already successful. My thoughts and inspirations will share the most positive and sometimes negative analogies to leadership behavior. I have not minced words, and all the examples in this book are true stories. Linebacker in the Boardroom is a powerful synthesis of personal growth, sports, and leadership.

    This is an excerpt from "Linebacker in the Boardroom: Lessons in Life and Leadership" by Marvin A. Russell and published in 2011 by Outskirts Press, Inc. Russell played linebacker at he University from Notre Dame from 1973-75. "It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. But most people see only the glory, the end result, the rings and the trophies and the names in the record books and the old film. They don't see the sweat and feel the exhaustion or go through the pain. I've had 19 knee surgeries, including three complete knee replacements, relating to football - so far. But you know what? I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat."

    I found it impossible to write a book about leadership without discussing aspects of my college football career and Notre Dame, the university I attended. This part of my life played a pivotal role in how I see the world. I started this book years ago on a beach on the island of in Corsica off the coast of France, while living and working in Europe. As my career and family moved on, to different jobs and different cities, I sometimes set the manuscript aside. Other times I worked on it in flurries. Looking back, I'm glad that I did it that way, in spurts. The world has changed and I have changed and grown in my understanding of the world and how I have been impacted by life experiences; taking the extended time to reflect and think has helped give me more perspective and context.

    The impact of my sports career is the foundation for who I am today. However, in this book I have taken the opportunity to share with you not only my experience inside the locker room of the Notre Dame football experience and how it exemplifies and creates inspired leadership, but more importantly, I have shared with you how we as leaders evolve. I have had a rewarding business and professional career that has allowed me to live and work in other countries. I have attempted to provide an understanding of what it takes to persevere against the odds, and how to achieve superior performance both on and off the field. I have attempted to provide ideas, thoughts and inspiration: thoughts and inspirations for the leaders of today and tomorrow.

    Leadership can be a convoluted subject, far too often confused with management or managing people. The number of definitions goes on forever. But there is a level of consistency in the concept that says leadership is about the ability to influence the thoughts, expressions, and behavior of others. Our world seeks out and is drawn to those who have the ability to lead. But leadership is not necessarily the ability to lead or influence in a positive way. History is full of leaders responsible for leading others toward devastating, destructive behavior.

    The difference in leadership and management is simple. Management is authority and power given to execute tasks, whereas leadership goes beyond authority, and rewards the ability to influence others without the benefit of power or dominion over others. The leadership I will speak about will be grounded in the acceptance of responsibility for doing things and behaving in the most humane and professional manner. It is a moral belief that as individuals we must behave ethically and be accountable for our actions, and be conscious of our decisions and the impact those decisions have on the environments we serve.

    To be a successful leader, we need to arm ourselves with a series of critical personal, behavioral, and skill dimensions that are not often addressed. There is hardly a business consultant who doesn't have a formula for achieving leadership greatness. But we all know that someone else's formula may not work for us. I'm using the lessons of my experiences and models of success and failure to inspire new, yet simple ways of thinking - ways that we can find our own paths to leadership instead of trying to mimic what worked for other people who are already successful. My thoughts and inspirations will share the most positive and sometimes negative analogies to leadership behavior. I have not minced words, and all the examples in this book are true stories. Linebacker in the Boardroom is a powerful synthesis of personal growth, sports, and leadership.

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