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By Brian Everett, ABC, Senior Partner, MindShare Strategies

I recently listened to insights from legendary college coach Lou Holtz, who appears on ESPNEWS, ESPN College GameDay programs, SportsCenter as well as serving as an on-site analyst for college football games.

I met this well-known motivational speaker at the SMC3 Jump Start 2014 Conference in Atlanta in late January, where Holtz eloquently spoke about the need to continuously change and adapt to stay relevant. He mentioned that if you compared two lists of Fortune 500 companies – one from 20 years ago and one today – you’d be amazed at how few appear on both lists. Companies fall out of favor when they fail to keep pace with their customers’ changing needs. Once you reach an elite level of your profession, you must continually adapt to maintain or improve your position.

Holtz emphasized that complacency is your enemy. Reflecting on his coaching days at Notre Dame, “when we became number one, I suddenly assumed that our touchdowns would count for 12 points instead of 6. If we fumbled, I expected the opposing team to wipe off the ball and hand it back to us. After all, we were number one. Weren’t we entitled to some perks? Was I mistaken! When we became number one, our problems multiplied. Dirty Harry in the conference had his .44 Magnum aimed at our spines.”

Holtz also emphasized three laws that make people the best they can be:

Do right, and avoid doing wrong.
Do everything to the best of your ability. Now we can’t be the best at everything, but if you and everyone on your team are doing the best they can, that defines who you are personally and as a team.
Show people you care. When you concern yourself with the welfare of others, you engender loyalty and respect. You create value. And you acquire power. Remember the adage: “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
Holtz also discussed his personal and professional experiences, many of which have been reflected in writings he has authored in New York Times best-selling books, including The Fighting Spirit; Winning Everyday: A Game Plan for Success; and his autobiography, Wins, Losses, and Lessons. I am honored to have heard of Lou’s experiences and to have met him first-hand. A very motivational, awe-inspiring man!