Urban Meyer Challenges Himself with a New Measure of Success

12 Dec
December 12, 2010

Urban Meyer Challenges Himself with a New Measure of Success

Earlier this week, Urban Meyer announced his resignation from the Florida Gators after compiling a 64-15 record in six seasons at Florida. His notification comes on the heels of an underwhelming 7-5 season, his worst as a head coach; one that ended on a low note in Tallahassee with an offense in complete disarray. 

You might be tempted to call Meyer’s walking away with a major overhaul in front of him cowardly or irresponsible, or question his heart and character. However, I would suggest that his act was courageous and profound, wholly accountable and without remonstrance. 

You see at age 46, with three national championships under his belt, one year removed from serious health issues and with a wife and three children who saw far too little of him, Meyer finally realized that the sacrifices he was having to make to enjoy this level of success were far more significant than another crystal trophy, and their consequences more imperishable. 

Meyer, who has two college-aged daughters and a 12-year-old son said, “I’ve not seen my two girls play high school sports”. “They’re both very talented Division I-A volleyball players, so I missed those four years. I can’t get that time back”.

No he can’t.

And if he didn’t get to see much of them the last four years, what makes you think the six before that were any different? Or the ten before that?

So Urban quit his job as coach for the Florida Gators for the sake of his family to become a better husband and father.

I believe this reveals far more about heart and character than this year’s recruiting haul, any improvement he might have been able to engineer next season or any future championships he might have been able to win.

Ask almost any extraordinarily successful man or woman about achieving uncommon success and I bet you’d be surprised at what you’d hear. I bet most would tell you that obtaining it is not as hard as you’d imagine, if you were to simply focus on whatever it was you desired to accomplish- be it in sports, business or any other area of life. 

And if you focused on it at the expense of everything, and everyone else in you life –your wife, your children, your friends, your health– then you could almost guarantee realizing your goals. That’s the way it happens, more often than not.

The question then becomes, “What really constitutes ‘success’ in life?”

To me, that answer is achieving a healthy balance of overall physical and emotional wellness; of being loving, kind and compassionate; responsible to those who depend upon you; and respectful to everyone else. 

How often do you see marriages fail, families fractured or children cheated out of having their biggest fans at hand when they take the field, stage or just sitting down for dinner? 

I should probably be careful of being too “preachy” because I know I’ve missed my fair share of dinners over many years in business and certainly can’t claim accomplishments on the scale of an Urban Meyer. That’s the battle that all of us whose role it is to provide for their families, face over the course of our careers. And it is always a tricky balancing act. 

In a world where success is too often, too narrowly defined as “productivity” in the workplace, it’s easy to overlook the things that provide the most important measures of human performance. The kind of things that don’t fit neatly inside a trophy case.

2 replies
  1. Amy Pattison says:

    Well stated Tim. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    Reply
  2. Tim Hamby says:

    Thanks Amy and Go Gators! I like their new hire, who I understand is another well-grounded family man like Urban, with a wife two children. Here’s hoping he always makes time for them no matter how much pressure we apply to him (which will be a lot! ; ))

    Reply

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