My father-in-law is college football Hall of Fame Coach Grant Teaff. Coach Teaff is known as one of the best motivators in the history of college football. The Coach Teaff motivational story I like most is about a stray dog that used to hang out around the practice field when he coached at McMurray University. The team sort of adopted the mutt and gave him the name "Ringer" because of the ring around his eye. Coach Teaff would tell the team that Ringer was a lot like them - tough and full of attitude. He would lie by the practice field all week and he was on the sideline during the games.
On a cold Saturday night McMurry was hosting nationally prominent Arlington State, led by legendary head coach Chena Gilstrap. During the pre-game warm-ups words had been exchanged about who was going to come out on top. When the warm-up time was over, the teams went to their respective locker rooms for some last-minute instructions. Coach Teaff had one of his assistants go in to talk about the game plan and also to tell the team that Coach Teaff had something important to share with them.
Coach Teaff stayed outside the locker room for effect. He had been walking from the field to address his team, not feeling particularly fired up about his final comments, when, like a gift from heaven, Ringer came limping around the corner. It was obvious the dog had bitten off a little more than he could chew and had gotten the worst of a dogfight. His ear was bleeding and a big patch of fur on his back was missing. Coach Teaff scooped the big dog up in both arms and kicked open the door to the locker room. When the big metal door hit the concrete wall, the noise startled the players and the coaches. Coach Teaff laid Ringer on the training table in the middle of the team and, mustering a tear, he roared, "Look what those sorry son-of-a-guns have done to Ringer!" His team went nuts. Coach told his players that any team who had the audacity to rough up a poor defenseless dog would pay for it. Coach Teaff's outmanned McMurry team not only won the game, but also set two records that night: The first was for turnovers caused, and the second was for personal fouls.
Often, as leaders, we forget to nurture the art of motivation. If we want our spouses or children to do something, we gripe. Or pout. Or beg. Or explode in anger. That might get results for a while, but better in the long run is learning to motivate our families to be better and do better. Great motivators like Coach Teaff create a positive atmosphere and foster teamwork. My encouragement to you is to take a page from Coach Teaff's playbook and become a motivator of your family.