Kolen speaks at Troy Rotary Club meeting
Mike Kolen was the guest speaker at the Troy Rotary Club meeting on Tuesday, discussing his book “The Greatest Team: A Playbook for Champions.”
A Birmingham native, Kolen starred at Auburn University where he graduated in 1970. He was the team’s co-captain as a junior and a captain as a senior and was named to the All-Century team.
Kolen was drafted by the Miami Dolphins and played there until 1977. During that time Kolen would be part of two consecutive championships, including the team’s undefeated season in 1972. During his eight seasons with the Dolphins, Kolen had the opportunity to play under the legendary head coach Don Shula.
“This man was phenomenal,” Kolen said. “He could have made any Fortune 500 company as the CEO and make it productive. He had a lot of attention to detail. He was a great coach, but he was a businessman. He ran his organization, the Miami Dolphins, like a business, and it paid off.”
Shula’s teaching inspired Kolen to write his book. In the book, Kolen breaks down the word “team” into four key traits: Trust, Enthusiasm, Attitude and Motivation.
“This book is just about that,” Kolen said. “Trust, enthusiasm, attitude and motivation. It’s not about the tangibles of tackling and blocking. It’s about the intangibles that are so key … It’s all about having trust, being enthusiastic, having a great attitude and being motivated out of love and respect for our neighbors.”
Trust is one of the more vital characteristics in every organization, he said.
“Trust is so vital if you want to achieve championship results,” Kolen said. “Trust is the most sensitive part of any relationship. If you want to have championship results, you have to have trust as the foundation in any collaborative effort.”
Kolen said enthusiasm is most important for positive results in a team.
“You can’t experience any success unless there is enthusiasm,” Kolen said. “It’s so key that is be a part of an organization.”
Attitude and motivation work together in any organization. With right attitude and motivation any group can have success.
“Attitude is so important,” Kolen said. “I look at other people and I certainly can’t blame them for my bad attitude. I can only look at myself. That is true with all of us. If our attitude isn’t what we wanted it to be, then whose responsibility is it? It’s really us when it boil downs to it … the attitude of a champion is spirit of service.
“The greatest motivation in all the world in any collaborative effort is love and respect for your teammates. If you truly love and respect your teammates you’re going to have their backs. You are going to look at for their interest and you are going to have the spirit of service.”
Kolen closed out the presentation with a question and answer segment.