Michigan State Head Football Coach Mark Dantonio Shares His Philosophy Of Leadership and Recruiting Part 2

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Number two thing we’re looking for…we want them to, in our case, graduate. In our case, launch their career. In your case, I would say promotion.

Promotion. Where’s the advancement? Are you in a dead end job or are you not? So you wanna look for promotion. Try and move them forward…what are their goals…what direction do they want to go? And if you can do that, goal #2 accomplished.

The third goal, in our case, is to win championships. BCS games, January 1 bowl games, things of that nature. Success. Continued success. I think you measure that in the business sense in terms of dollars and cents, sales, depending on what business you’re in. That’s the hope, that’s the hardcore reality. Don’t be naïve about the relationship. We wanna help you launch your career. But you gotta have the ability to do this.

You gotta understand that there is a certain hardcore reality that goes along with this. We talk every day to our players as they come in, whether they were a recruit or whether they’re existing in our program. I sit down and talk inevitably and say, You are an investment. We’re gonna help our investment grow. That investment has to grow. Has to grow. They have to look at me like the dream-giver. Can they make their greatest dreams…can they find them when they’re talking to you on a one-to-one basis? Can they find those dreams? Can you make them come true? Because if one of the two are missing in that third component of those goals, they probably aren’t gonna get there.

If I’m sitting there trying to sell. I’m sitting there saying I’m investing in you but I know that this is a bad investment for one reason or another, chances are his or her dreams are not gonna come true. So it’s a two-way street, I think.

And then the last thing in our little goal setting thing is can you make a little bit of a difference relative to the general good of people, society in general. You’ve got a little bit of a platform regardless of what you do.

I just came from a JDRF meeting, people from all over…can they make a little bit of a difference. Can they make a dent for the greater good of people? I sit and talk to our players… One thing that comes up over and over and over is, I wanna job like yours, Coach. Where I come in in the morning and before you know it I’m done with work. He’s passionate enough about his work, he comes in and where do the hours go? Done. Boom. They gravitate towards those jobs.

They don’t come in and say, Coach I wanna make X amount of money here. That’s not said. It just isn’t said. I need a good job to support my family. I think what everybody’s looking for is passion, because passion keeps you going. So those are our program’s goals.