Mike Tomlin, The Pittsburgh Steelers, Hard Work, Focus and Success

Outstanding performance is one of the keys to success that I discuss in Straight Talk for Success.  If you want to become an outstanding performer, you need to do three things.  1) Become a lifelong learner.  2) Set and achieve high goals.  3) Get organized; manage your time, life and stress well.  You also need to be relentless in your pursuit of high performance. 

If you read this blog regularly, you know that I am a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan.  I grew up in Pittsburgh.  My dad had Steelers season tickets for many years.  He gave them up only because he moved to Florida.  He learned to use the internet at age 70, so he could follow the Steelers on line.  I’m not that much of a fanatic, but there is no professional sports team more near and dear to my heart than the Pittsburgh Steelers.

On Sunday last, February 1, Steelers won the Super Bowl.  On Monday, February 2, Mike Tomlin their coach noted that because the Steelers were in the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl, he was “a month behind getting ready for the 2009 season.  We’ve got to be thoughtful in how we prepare our football team.”

Some may say, “Chill Mike, savor what you’ve just accomplished.”  However, Mike Tomlin knows that outstanding performers don’t rest on their laurels.  They set higher goals and look towards greater achievements.  The Optimist Creed urges us to “Press on to the greater achievements of the future.” 

That’s what Mike Tomlin is doing, and that’s what outstanding performers do.  They set high goals and meet them.   Then they set higher goals and meet them too.

Mike Tomlin is 36 years old.  He is the youngest coach to win a Super Bowl.  That’s pretty impressive.  But not to Tomlin; he says he expected that kind of success and expects more.  On the other hand, he is humble.  He realizes that football is a team game.  Coaches don’t win Super bowls on their own; neither do players.  They need one another…

“I’m an unrealistic dreamer sometimes.  I’m blessed, extremely blessed.  I’ve been around some great people – coaches, players, ownership – and I’m a product of that.  That’s my story.”

And a great story it is. 

Santonio Holmes is another great story.  He caught the winning touchdown pass and was named the MVP of the Super Bowl.  He said that Hines Ward, another Steeler and the MVP of the Super Bowl three years ago gave him the following advice about keeping focused on high goals…

“He (Ward) just told me ‘stay hungry.’  Things are going to come to me and I need to be ready to represent my family, this team and this whole organization…and to not lose sight of where I came from and what I’m trying to accomplish with the rest of my life.”

Good advice from one Super Bowl MVP to another.  We should listen to these guys – there have been only 43 of them.

The common sense point here is simple.   Successful people are outstanding performers.  Outstanding performers set high goals and achieve them.  Then they set higher goals and achieve them.  If you want to become an outstanding performer, be like the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mike Tomlin and Santonio Holmes.  Take a few minutes to savor your accomplishments as they come along — Holmes celebrated the victory and his selection as MVP, by watching “Madagascar 2” with his kids — but stay focused on “the greater achievements of the future.”  If you do this, you’ll be fine.

That’s my take on the Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl victory and outstanding performance.  What’s yours?  Please take a few minutes to leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, thanks for reading.


PS: If you want a copy of The Optimist Creed to hang in your office or work space, please go to https://budbilanich.com/optimist

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  1. Couldn’t agree with you more, Bud!
    From another Pittsburgh native, and lifelong Steeler fan (replanted to Findlay OH, hometown of Steelers QB, Ben Roethlisberger!!)

  2. Thanks Skip:
    I was glad to see the Steelers pull it out in the last seconds of the game.
    All the best,

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