Michigan State Head Football Coach Mark Dantonio On Leadership Part Three

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I always ask our players to set the mission statement because I want them involved in it. So that was our mission statement for last year. We have a different one every year, but I think they have to set that mission statement a little bit. Because it’s their team.

If you’re in here trying to relate it to team activities, it’s their team. They’re a part of this. I’m not gonna be, even though maybe some people may think, I’m not gonna be the dictator type of guy. I’m gonna allow the process to take place.

Goals, as we said… The third thing I have up there is how do we get there. How do we get to the goals? We gotta make choices. And this is just for me, just for us. Spiritually you can’t push on it others, but that’s a part of me. They need to understand that’s a part of me. So they need to know what they’re getting involved in a little bit. So they’re not really pushed on that. But the choices that they make, morality, are gonna affect their lives. I don’t care if you’re 40 years old, 30 years old. They need to understand that the choices they make on a day-to-day basis…whether it’s coming to work prepared, coming to work with energy, their tasks, their off the field or off the job site, character…that’s gonna reflect if we are able to get to our goals.

Doesn’t mean they’re getting fired. It’s gonna reflect how can we get to our goals. The family, the trust involved, and whether that group of 105 players in here, or whether for me a small family dynamic, people that are closest to that inner circle, there’s gotta be trust in that inner circle.

That individual that’s working for you, you don’t think it’s important that their wife trusts you? It’s very, very important because that’s part of his inner circle. So the family dynamics that goes along with success is something you cannot take for granted.

Once a year I have our coaches call every parent. They call their position group’s parent to let them know how their child is doing. First thing out of their mouth is, What happened? And then the next thing out of their mouth is how much they appreciated it. I would bet you that if you took the time someday…I know some of you may have big businesses…if you took the time to call somebody’s wife to let them know how their husband or how their wife is doing, it would make a very, very deep impression on that family. I think, again, what you’re trying to do is help keep their passion. Keep them energized.