“Blood makes the grass grow” is what I thought I heard from our former college football linebacker, full Irish, quick to fight, quick to defend, Manufacturing Engineer Justin Kean. He said his college football coach had used that line to motivate his players. From nearby I heard Kelly Wolfe, our CFO, utter the same words which he had heard from his commanding officer while serving our country in the military.
Justin explained that sports were a big part of his life growing up, teaching him important lifelong lessons about how to cope with failure and success, how others depended on him and how integrity, perseverance, aptitude, trust, and confidence are all important for success. Most of all, Justin said that sports had shown him what happens when you get complacent and aren’t on the offense. How many times have you allowed yourself to settle for mediocrity and then let someone else hop in front of you while you just stood there? In the end, you and your team get beat because the other side had a “want to win” desire instead of a “want to not lose” attitude.
Kelly then elaborated that it’s the same in the military. Commanders know that getting results requires action. They motivate their troops to “get busy living or you’ll be busy dying.” Winning takes effort. Standing still may get you killed. Coaches and commanders both pound it into your head “BLOOD MAKES THE GRASS GROW ! ” Get out there and get busy! The same is true with business and life, nothing happens without someone first taking action. We will never land a contract without action. Even with our best efforts, we know we won’t win them all. That’s when it’s our blood making the grass grow. The only way to find out who you are as an organization is to take action.
Live your life and run your business with a sense of urgency. “Discuss, decide, do” is one of our mantras. Do things and keep your foot on the gas. We are only here for a short while, so use your time wisely and urgently. Those early lessons we learned from sports and military experience have shaped our adult lives. Working together and having each other’s back are ingrained. Little did those coaches and commanders know that what they taught us about making the grass grow would encourage us for the rest of our lives.