Why Pac-12 Football Coach Chris Petersen Says Winning Isn’t Enough and What It Means For Driven Entrepreneurs
You hit all of your income goals and your business is growing like crazy, but you’re still not satisfied. According to the company’s scorecard, you’re winning, but inside you know you’re not.
One of the most successful college football coaches of the past two decades, Chris Petersen, recently told me that he quit coaching at the height of his career because he didn’t have a good game plan. for his life. As Coach Petersen said, he was winning on the scoreboard of society – wins, money, recruiting rankings, prestige, etc. But he wasn’t winning on his personal scorecard. Which, according to Petersen, has to do with values-driven purpose, authenticity, and engagement in meaningful relationships.
Football coaches and entrepreneurs are one. I know this because I have lived in both worlds. I’ve coached powerhouse football programs and worked in the NFL. I’ve won championships and felt the emptiness when my intentions were misaligned. I am also the founder of a startup and I currently live the daily life necessary to evolve a startup in the start-up phase.
Both careers can consume every fiber of your being and are judged by a wide audience. It is an invigorating and isolating feeling. If you’re not careful, you’ll soon start hating the thing you once loved.
But there is another way. This path leads to excellence at work and in your personal life, but it takes another level of self-awareness and humility to walk this path.
This requires you to identify your purpose and your values. Yes, you can have values on the walls of your office building and a grand vision as you sell your team and customers. Yet without a clearly defined personal goal, you will find yourself rudderless, unable to navigate life outside of work.
Identify your goal
Why you exist and how you exist defines your purpose. A strong purpose will define the course of your life and anchor the difficult decisions that lie ahead. Additionally, your purpose will not only define your leadership style, but also why you lead.
Your goal should be deeply personal and unique to you and you alone. Here are some questions you might consider asking yourself when identifying your goal:
How can my talents, skills and abilities be used to impact others?
Where can I find joy and fulfillment?
Why does my current job leave me unsatisfied? Is it the work itself, or why am I doing it?
What would I want my obituary to say if I were to die tomorrow?
Identify your values
The only way to live your purpose consistently is to take action guided by your core values. I covered the process of identifying core values in a previous article, but it’s worth discussing again because your life will be rudderless without core values.
Core values are non-negotiable principles that set the tone for who you want to be, here, now. Your values will set your feet on your goal and guide the actions you take to achieve your goal.
I recommend choosing no more than 3-5 core values, as their scope should be broad enough to cover almost any decision you might face.
Look for responsibility
No one is perfect and we can all go off course when our actions go unchecked. I recommend finding at least one trusted person to share the intimate details of your personal life. This person can be a close friend, a therapist or a coach. The key is that this person must have permission to respectfully call you out when your actions do not align with your stated purpose. Otherwise, you will continue in your unsatisfactory behavior.
Success in your personal and professional life doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive. If you set your purpose, take action guided by your core values, and engage in responsible relationships, you can find true satisfaction in both areas of your life.