Be Like Tony – Smile More!

romo2.jpgOK, I admit it. I have jumped on the Dallas Cowboy’s bandwagon. For those who don’t follow American football the Dallas Cowboys are having their best season ever. They have won 12 games and only lost 1. Their one loss was to a team (who I can’t stand since they cheat) who is now 13-0!

Many attribute this success to Tony Romo – the Quarterback of the Cowboy’s. Romo was undrafted coming out of college. He was almost cut from the team a few years back and was only saved when another player was kicked off the team for behaving like a knuckle head (drugs).

The thing, in my opinion, that separates Romo from most other QB’s is his demeanor. No matter how bad things are he does one thing more than most – he smiles. And it’s not a cheesy, “Oh I am so nervous so I better smile” type of smile. It’s more of a, “I am not worried about this. I am good. My team is good. I love this game. Let’s go have fun” type of smile.

Case in point was the game against Detroit yesterday. Dallas was losing and things seemed bad for the Cowboy’s. There were only a few minutes left in the game and the Cowboy’s needed a touchdown to win. So out comes Romo and his band of merry men. As the camera passed over Romo guess what we all saw? Romo smiling as if to say, “I love this challenge.” He then moved his team down the field and Dallas scored a touchdown and won the game.

Jon Kitna, the Quarterback for the Detroit Lions, offered the flipside to Romo’s attitude. Throughout the game, as things got tougher and tougher for the Lion’s, Kitna began to lose it. On one occasion one of his players dropped a pass and Kitna nearly lost his mind! He was stomping around and acting like a freaking baby. Sure his team stinks and their season is pretty much over… but he makes a lot of money to lead his team and he failed to do it on the field and most importantly off the field.

So what, you may ask, does this have to do with what most of us non-football players do for a living? I think a lot.

First, we can be like Tony Romo who seems to move through life with such confidence he cannot help but smile. Of course he has had to work hard to get where he is – just like we have to. But now that he is on the main stage he welcomes challenges and takes them on one smile at a time.

So my challenge for you this week is to smile more. When you are faced with a challenge be happy. For it’s these challenges that makes what we as continuous improvement practitioners do for living – short of playing QB for the Cowboys – the best job in the world.