Former NFL player and Georgia Tech coach Bill Curry talks about leadership at KSU
Bill Curry‚ former NFL player and Georgia Tech coach‚ shared leadership wisdom gained from more than 50 years playing and coaching football in the “school of hard knocks” at Kennesaw State University on April 21.Curry’s address was sponsored by the Siegel Institute for Leadership‚ Ethics and Character as part of the institute’s “Lessons from Leaders: Why Leadership and Ethics Matter” speaker series.(For the complete story and a link to audio of the speech‚ please click on the headline above.)
(Apr 22, 2008) —
Some of the hardest decisions former NFL player and Georgia Tech coach Bill Curry has had to make in his decades−long career involved kicking players off the team for not following rules.
“I felt like I had failed as a leader‚” said Curry‚ “because they were no longer able to play‚ to be at their best‚ because they didn’t follow the rules and live up to their potential.”
After all‚ he said‚ one of the key aspects of leadership is making others realize that they have the potential to achieve anything.
Curry shared this and other tidbits of leadership wisdom gained from more than 50 years playing and coaching football in the “school of hard knocks” at Kennesaw State University on April 21.
Curry’s address was sponsored by the Siegel Institute for Leadership‚ Ethics and Character as part of the institute’s “Lessons from Leaders: Why Leadership and Ethics Matter” speaker series. Other speakers this year have included former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher; Atlanta Women’s Foundation President Deborah Richardson; and Kent “Oz” Nelson‚ former CEO of UPS.
Curry spoke about five characteristics that define a leader:
• focus on a single purpose in achieving great goals‚ in spite of mitigating circumstances;
• being unselfish and willing to help those who don’t expect it and those who don’t even deserve it;
• having the toughness to tell the truth when others don’t‚ and to face hostility when others aren’t;
• preparing yourself for challenges; and
• never quit.
Curry‚ an ESPN football analyst‚ spoke at the Carmichael Student Center to a room packed with hundreds of KSU students‚ student−athletes‚ faculty‚ staff‚ coaches and administrators — including KSU President Daniel S. Papp. Papp‚ as a professor at Georgia Tech during the 1980s‚ verbalized support for Curry’s efforts to revamp the institution’s football program during tough times.
“Dan Papp was one of our professors who went out of his way to let me know that we could do it‚” Curry said.
Curry‚ a native of College Park‚ Ga.‚ played in the NFL from 1965 to 1974 for the Green Bay Packers under coach Vince Lombardi in Super Bowl I‚ as well as for the Baltimore Colts‚ Houston Oilers and the Los Angeles Rams. He went on to coach at Georgia Tech‚ Alabama and Kentucky.
He currently serves as executive director of the Baylor School Leadership Program of the Baylor School‚ a private preparatory school‚ in Chattanooga‚ Tenn. He also serves on the executive committee of the National Consortium for Academics and Sports‚ which brings former athletes back to college to complete their degrees at no cost to them.
Next in the Siegel Institute speaker series is a talk on May 27 by Billy Hayes‚ CEO of Northside Hospital−Cherokee‚ titled “Philosophies of a Healthcare Leader.”
For more information on this event or others sponsored by the Siegel Institute‚ visit www.siegelinstitute.org.
To download audio of the speech (MP3‚ 60 MB)‚ visit https://files.kennesaw.edu/staff/jcraig19/MediaGraphics/billcurry2.mp3.
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.