Rod Smith: Outstanding Performer

In Straight Talk for Success, I point out that Outstanding Performance is one of the five keys to career and life success.  If you want to become an outstanding performer, you need to become a lifelong learner, set and achieve high goals and become well organized.

Rod Smith was an outstanding performer for the Denver Broncos for 14 years.  He caught 849 passes for 11,389 yards and scored 71 touchdowns.  If you’re not familiar with the American version of Professional Football, those are impressive numbers.  They might be enough to get Rod Smith elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Rod Smith sustained a really bad knee injury in college.  He set of goal of rehabbing the knee and playing in the NFL.  He wasn’t drafted by any team after he finished his college playing days. 

He signed with the Broncos as a free agent.  His first goal was to make the team.  He did that.  He spent the off season working out in the Broncos training facility.  He was there every day during the off season conditioning workouts.

His second goal was to become a starter.  He did that.  His third goal was to win the Super Bowl.  He did that twice.  Along the way, he set a lot of Broncos records.  But, all of the players with whom he played said that individual records were not important to Rod Smith.  He wanted the team to win games. 

Rod Smith set high goals for himself, and he achieved them.  When asked of what he is most proud when he thinks of his career, he said, “The opportunity.  When I got my opportunity, I was ready to take advantage of it.”

Rod Smith set high goals, and he achieved them because he worked at them.  Broncos fans will miss him a lot this season.  He was a delight to watch on the field. 

And, by the way, he always conducted himself as a gentleman off it.  He was active in the community.  He was a mentor to young players.  His peers respected him so much that they named him team captain last year, when he was injured and not able to play. 

I think Rod Smith’s career is worthy of the Hall of Fame.  What do you think?  Please leave a comment with your thoughts on this.

Mark Kiszla, a columnist for the Denver Post summed up Rod Smith’s career nicely.  “If quarterback John Elway was the legendary heart and soul of the team’s Super Bowl years, then Smith was the hard-earned dirt under the fingernails." 

I’d be proud to be known as a dirt under the fingernails kind of guy.  How about you?

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people are outstanding performers.  Outstanding performers work for what they get.  Rod Smith is a great example of someone who worked hard for all he got and made the most of the opportunities available to him.  It was fun watching him play for the Broncos.  If you want to become an outstanding performer read Rod Smith’s story, and then go out and do in your field what he did in his.

That’s my take on Rod Smith and outstanding performance.  What’s yours?  Do you know anyone who succeeded against great odds?  If so, leave a comment and tell us their story.  As always, I appreciate and value your comments.  Thanks for reading, and for writing.


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