With the exception of their victory over OU this year, the University of Texas football team has seen better days. What’s sad is better days could’ve been today.
This year, Jameis Winston is making a splash in his debut as the starting quarterback for the undefeated Florida State Seminoles. Actually, making a splash might be an understatement. In his first six games of the season, Winston has thrown for 1,885 yards and twenty touchdowns. His biggest exclamation point coming in the 51-14 romping of third-ranked Clemson on Saturday night. Oh, and did I mention he’s only given up three picks? I wouldn’t be surprised if the New York Giants are trying to sign him.
“Awesome,” you’re probably saying. “But what does the Florida State phenom have to do with UT’s struggles?”
More than you might think.
Growing up, Winston dreamed of playing college ball for the Longhorns; a dream that never came true. What happened? Why is Winston donning garnet and gold instead of burnt orange? The truth is, he just couldn’t get Texas to notice him. Winston is on record saying, “I’m an OU fan but I always wanted to go to Texas. If I’d gotten [an] offer from Texas I’d be going to Texas right now.” In high school, Winston called the university multiple times and never received a reply.
Whether the Longhorn staff had their eye on Winston or not, the question remains the same. How could a powerhouse institution like Texas miss out on a recruit that ESPN dubbed the best dual-threat quarterback in the nation? The very same recruit offered scholarships by both Alabama and Auburn, as well as a slew of other top-ranked schools? I’d argue it’s the same reason the Longhorns also dropped the ball on Texas residents Robert Griffin III and Johnny Manziel. The university failed to realize the potential right before their eyes. In other words, they didn’t quite fathom what I call the “no people, no trophy” principle. People are anyone’s best asset for development and success. If you don’t learn to value and develop people, you will fail. The Longhorns were so caught up in the day to day activities of running a football team, they ignored scores of talented athletes banging on their door.
The jury is still out on whether Winston will win the Heisman this year, but the principle stays the same. If individuals or institutions want to be successful, they have to learn to discover the potential in others.
I occasionally think about how many people have walked in and out of my life, hoping I would take the time to believe in them. Yet, I was so caught up in my world, my day-to-day activities, that I failed to see their hidden value. I could have pushed them to be a better son, pastor, friend, writer, but I missed the chance.
I feel like I’m progressively comprehending each day that true success isn’t an achievement, it’s about what I do to build people. I say comprehend, I’ve known this principle was true for a while. Breathing it through the lungs of my actions is a little bit harder.
Measuring a person’s development is much more difficult to do than say, counting a crowd, or pulling in a paycheck. I guess that’s why helping others maximize their full potential isn’t as sexy as a trophy. It’s a mindset that’s difficult to display and almost impossible to quantitatively measure. Yet, capturing the potential of others is the key to displaying not only entrepreneurial and financial success in the business world, but also our purpose as instruments of God’s love.
I really don’t know where you are in life right now. Be glad, that might be a little weird. You might be a parent, blogger, college student, in-between-college college student, or pastor. Honestly, it doesn’t matter. If you want to be successful, discover the potential of those around you. Take them to the next level. Help them achieve their dreams. Help them live sacrificial, loving lives.
No people. No trophy.
A version of this article by Wade Bearden originally appeared on RESNation.com.