Great leaders make great bloggers

Tony Dungy set to blog inside MyColts

The highlight of my week last week was a meeting with Tony Dungy. It’s always nice to spend time with him, but this meeting was particularly sweet because he agreed to write a blog this season inside our social network.

I have had several meetings with Tony over the past several months, hoping to persuade him to jump in and join us. I’ve been showing him what we’re building and offering him reasons why he might like to blog (i.e. our fans will love it AND it will be a great platform for him to use to communicate with the world). He finally agreed. It’s gonna be great.

Just yesterday I was reminded (in Church of all places) of just how impactful Tony Dungy IS and therefore how cool his blog might be. My pastor was preaching about loving one another, and reminding the congregation what it says in 1 John 4. To sum up his message, he read a brief story from Sports Illustrated. The story was about Tony.

Tony Dungy is an ALL PRO Dad

The story is written by SI writer, Rick Reilly, and recounts how Tony Dungy, after reading in SI about a father who had lost a son, contacted that father. And not only did he contact the grieving dad, he got to know him. Over the course of months he built a friendship with the man, and even invited him to the Super Bowl so the two could meet.

The whole story is here if you want to read it.

Anyway, my pastor brought up this story as an illustration. He wanted to show us all what loving eachother really looks like. It’s a simple thought, but much harder in practice. But how cool that our football coach is the kind of guy people point to as an example of loving behavior! And it illustrates perfectly why I was hoping Tony would blog. He sets an example in word and in deed for many of us to follow – and his blog will be (I hope) a little window into his world that will allow us to see him in action (off the field).

And happily, Tony isn’t the only Colts leader who is setting a good example…

Random acts of kindness – Jim Irsay reads his mail

On Saturday night I was out to dinner with some friends and I met a guy who told me a great Jim Irsay story. He told me that during the Super Bowl run, his 5-year-old daughter expressed several times that she wanted to meet Jim Irsay and Peyton Manning. One day, he sat down and helped her write letters to both men.

Then one day his cell phone rang…and it was Jim Irsay. Jim had read the letter, picked up the phone and called. The man told me how Jim talked to him like they were old friends. How Jim talked to his daughter for several minutes. And how Jim invited the father and the daughter to come visit and meet the owner and the QB and whoever else she wanted to meet.


Drive by philanthropist.

This is just like Jim Irsay. Nobody would ever know it, but he’s always reaching out to people in need. He never seeks credit for this stuff, in fact he never mentions it. Sometimes he reaches out and writes big checks for people in need. Sometimes he reaches out to call people who have written letters to him. Either way, this is how he operates. He realizes that he has a responsibility to use the position he has been given to help others. And when he sees someone in need and feels his heart moved, he takes action.

I’m proud to be associated with these men. Now if only I could get JIM to blog!! Now that would be cool. Watch out, Mark Cuban, there’s a new owner in town! Maybe. Someday.

Post Script

After church on Sunday a woman came up to me and said, “you have something to do with the Colts, right?” And I said “yes”. She went on to explain that her best friend’s child was dying of some incurable disease, and his last wish was to meet some Colts players. She wanted to know if I could help her get connected.

I told her I was happy to help and would bring her message wherever it needed to go inside the organization. But I also told her that she didn’t need me. All she really needed to do was write a letter directly to the coach or the owner or (hopefully) the player she wanted to meet, and they would reply. In fact, they might even reply faster just because they care about people.

As I prepare to face this new work week, I pray that I remain as generous with my time and attention and gifts and resources as Tony and Jim are with theirs.