|"The Coach and I"|
I never met Will Rogers--who famously declared that he never met a man he didn't like--but I think I came pretty close today. Coach Frank Layden came to speak to our office today and I think it's been a long time since I've enjoyed a speech as much as I've enjoyed his.
Coach Layden coached the Utah Jazz many years ago and has continued as a consultant for the Jazz for many years. As a huge Jazz fan, I was excited to have Coach Layden come speak. He is known for being funny, but I could not have imagined how great his presentation was.
He spoke about his life growing up, his career, and coaching the Jazz. He talked about having having an impact on other people's lives and continuing to educate ourselves. I can tell that he practices what he preaches. Coach is nearly 82 years old, but I never would have guessed that if he had not told us what year he was born (1932). He has a young spirit and an enthusiasm for life that is contagious.
Here are a couple of of my favorite quotes from his presentation:
- “Reputation is a perception of who you are. Character is who you really are.” – Frank Layden
- “I’ve never been afraid of anything in my life and that includes the Los Angeles Lakers!” –Frank Layden
- "Freedom is expensive" (quoting Winston Churchill and the leadership that he showed during World War II)
- "A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives." (quoting Jackie Robinson)
He also said that we were free to quote him one time, and after that, we could do what he always does which is to say: "As I've always said...." That line got quite a few chuckles from my colleagues.
But my favorite quote was the one that reminded me of Will Rogers (who was also funny like Coach Layden). Coach said:
- “Everyone I meet, when I walk away, I hope they feel better.”
That is quite a thought and as you heard Coach say it and share a few examples of that philosophy, I knew that he meant it. It's definitely something to shoot for.
Coach Layden, thanks for coming to speak to us today. You encouraged us to have an impact on others, but I appreciate the impact you had on me. Hope to see you at a Jazz game real soon!