“How ’bout them Cowboys?” Who knew such a simple statement could be so polarizing? Last week I attended my first Cowboys game and as I expected there were countless fanatics as well as Cowboy haters. Now I’m not one to advocate for the Cowboys, or any other team for that matter, but what I do know if that I was raised in a home of Giants fans and married an avid Cowboys fan. The irony in the never ending Cowboy conversation is that the very same reasons people dislike them account for the unwavering commitment of their loyal fans.
So regardless of your team loyalty, the Cowboys remind me of one of my favorite ashleyisms every season:
Build your empire with the same stones thrown at you
Love them or hate them, you have to acknowledge that the Cowboys have built an empire that is world recognized and has thrived in both the best and worst of times. Whether it’s on the field or in the executive offices, they’ve managed to navigate both the praise and criticism to keep themselves relevant.
As a professional I have found that there are many stones that are thrown at you along the way. Unfortunately we’ve been conditioned to believe that all of those stones are bad or somehow designed to cause you harm. The truth is that some are and others serve a greater purpose, a purpose that grounded in truth regardless of how difficult it is to face. Regardless, it is important to remember that there are peaks and valleys in life, as there are in your professional life. The important thing is that you remain fair, firm and consistent (in the timeless words of Barry Johnson & Norman Bellard). When you remain committed to these three words, as well as your values, you will find that people may not always like you or the decisions you make, but they will respect you. Respect is something that is both priceless and timeless.
The beauty in remaining committed to who you are is that it provides the foundation for your empire. Don’t be so foolish and stubborn to disregard every stone as something harmful. Examine each and every thing thrown your way and determine how it can contribute to your empire. It wouldn’t come your way if it didn’t serve a purpose.