Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Poise or Thinking Like a Quarterback

Harvey Mackay, the business columnist says that poise is “grace under pressure.” He says, “Poise is what makes you a master of situations. He suggests that as an example of poise we look to great football quarterbacks. Great quarterbacks, he says, don’t lose their cool even when they’re behind with two minutes to go. He quotes Terry Bradshaw, the Hall of Fame QB for the Pittsburgh Steelers. As a Pittsburgher who grew up in the winning years (“One for the thumb”) that got my attention.

Terry Bradshaw said:

“Quite often the mark of an experienced quarterback—one who has poise—is the amount of time he holds on to the ball before releasing it. The quarterback who can be patient enough for lanes to open and receivers to clear will be more successful. I played a long time before I had poise, and I suffered for it, and so did my team.”

Today I used this lesson. A volunteer sent me a snippy email and just as I was about to reply I saw Terry on the field at Three Rivers Stadium backing off, waiting and living his poise even as six, 300-pound men were about to topple him. His lesson on poise served me well. I waited. The anger passed. I was not a jerk. Better for me—and my team.

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