Absence of Ego With LSU's Coach O

Winning matters way more than winning our way. 

The LSU Tigers were the big winners of this year’s college football season, capturing the program’s fourth National Championship in 150 years with a dominant performance against traditional powerhouse Clemson on Monday night. For Quarterback Joe Burrow and Head Coach Ed Orgeron, the victory was the exclamation point on an undefeated, dream season that will be celebrated along the Bayou for years to come.

However, the biggest winner was not any individual coach or player. On Monday night, it was the “absence of ego,” a pivotal factor for LSU all season long that began with the coach himself.

We all know egoless teams are the most powerful, and we’re well aware of the adage that hangs in many locker rooms: “It’s amazing what gets accomplished when no one cares about credit.” We preach this to everyone. Yet, we still allow our egos to seep into the core of our teams and culture.  

Coach O was able to lift the Tigers to new heights this year because he set his own ego aside, courageously admitting that his “old-school ways” of running the ball and playing defense were not the most practical for LSU this season.

Yes, even Coach O has an ego, we all do.

But he was willing to recognize his weaknesses, hire the right personnel, and, most of all, change his ways after decades in the sport, despite previously winning over 75 percent of his games throughout his career.

That’s not easy to do.

But each day, Orgeron’s team would practice differently than his teams of the past. Coach O still preached the fundamentals — like tackling and pad level — but he removed the notion that winning could only happen his way. He accepted throwing the ball more than he ever had, a shift that could only occur when he allowed his own ego to leave the room. Ultimately, all positive transformation starts with removing our egos.  

Congratulations to the LSU football program and congrats to Coach O for showing us all the path of removing our egos — and illuminating different ways for us to achieve our ultimate goals. 

Winning matters way more than winning our way.


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