Do you have a better half? A final word on Leadership Lessons for College Football

I’ll admit, after writing about leadership lessons gleaned from Nick Saban and college football over the last several weeks, even I’m beginning to tire about all the hype over the man.   As Warren St. John points out in his GQ article on Saban,  many people associate him with the devil.   (Note:  Even if you don’t like football, read St. John’s article, he is a fabulous writer.)

Love him or hate him (in the sake of full disclosure, we love him at our house), one thing I got out of St. John’s article, among many is that Saban has a better half.  “Ms. Terry”.

St. John writes,

The role of helping Saban interact with the outside world falls to his wife, the outgoing daughter of a West Virginia coal miner who is known in Saban’s world simply as “Ms. Terry,” a down-home nickname that undersells her savvy. When it comes to her husband, she serves as both a protective gatekeeper and an all-knowing oracle.”

And more,

The big question in Alabama, and in college football, is how long Saban will stick around. Everyone has a theory. Steven Rumsey remembers asking him once about the possibility of his leaving. Saban’s response: “Terry likes it here.”

“I remember getting my feelings hurt,” Rumsey tells me. “I thought, It’d mean the world to me, Nick, if you said, ‘I like it here.’ But after thinking about it, a practice field looks the same if you’re at Baltimore, U.S.C., Texas, Tampa. The grass is the grass, the goalposts are the goalposts, and if you work sixteen-hour days it’s all thesame to you. So really when he said, ‘Terry likes it here,’ what he was saying was, ‘That’s the most important thing to me, because she’s the one who’s got to experience the life here.'”

Leaders come with all types of relationships in their lives, some married, some single, among many other things.  I don’t think there is a rhyme or reason to leadership capabilities and whether or not you mark “filing jointly” on your tax return.

However, I would venture to guess that every leader who is striving towards a purpose and a passion has someone at their wing, someone who completes them and whothey are, who supports them continually.

You’ve heard the saying, “Behind every good man is a good woman.”  Well, BESIDE every good leader, male or female, is a good man or woman.

Who is by your side?


Mary Ila Ward