By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here are few inspiring stories to help you stay the course in adversity.
You’re driving on a two-lane highway in the predawn darkness. Suddenly you see four headlights beaming abreast of each other and heading directly towards you. As you get closer, you see that the four headlights belong to a Greyhound bus and a truck. The bus is trying to pass the truck when suddenly the hand of death SLAPS you hard! Painfully hard.
You lie torn, twisted and tangled in a head-on collision with the Greyhound bus. You lie helpless, hapless and hopeless in your prison of personal pain. You lie virtually paralyzed –a whisper away from death’s door for four months.
Suddenly. Incredibly. Miraculously. You recover. And just over a year later, you win one of the most prestigious and competitive sporting events in history. Sound farfetched? Who could defy death like that? Who could defy the odds like that? Who could defy destiny like that. Golf great Ben Hogan—that’s who.
In 1950, just 16 months after his head-on collision with a bus, Ben Hogan amazed the sporting world with his stunning comeback. He won the US Open in a strenuous 36-hole playoff. How inspiring!
Whenever I find myself complaining about a flu bug or just plain feeling lousy, I think of leaders like Ben Hogan and quickly snap out of my pity party. Leaders forge ahead, playing out their hand no matter what cards they’re dealt. Leaders like these in the sports history books:
• Tom Demsey, born without most of his right foot, still kicked the longest field goal (63 yards) in National Football League history.
• Jim Abbott, without a right arm, still pitched professional baseball for the California Angels. Vic Wertz of the Detroit Tigers battled back from a bout with polio in the middle of his professional baseball career.
From Partial Foot Amputation to World’s Fastest Miler
• Glenn Cunningham, as a seven-year old was injured in a house fire. A portion of his left foot had to be amputated. He was told he would never walk normally again. Fifteen years later Cunningham became the world’s fastest miler.
• Wilma Rudolph wore leg braces as a child. In 1960, she became the first woman to win three Olympic track and field gold medals – in three record-breaking performances.
• Gordie Howe lay near death with a brain concussion in 1950. A year later the Detroit Red Wings start scored a record high 81 points in the National Hockey League. He went on to break his own scoring record the next two seasons.
• Babe Didrickson won a professional golf tournament 10 months after leaving the hospital I her fight against cancer.
• Jerry Kramer helped the Green Bay Packers win the 1965 National Football League Championship, a year later he had eight operations and lost 50 pounds battling a stomach infection. Kramer went on to help Green Bay win the first two Super Bowls in 1966 and 1967. Then in 1968 he was named most courageous Athlete of the Year. He had bounced back from adversity before. In high school, Kramer injured his right arm in a hunting accident. Five months later he set a state scholastic record in the shot put.
Battle back from injury and stay focused to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.
You might also like these previous Leadership Mints on Commitment:
Commitment: Achieving Against the Odds
Commitment: Keep Hope Alive No Matter the Score
Adversity Can Spark Exemplary Performance