Mere Christians

Lou Holtz (Fmr. Head Coach of Notre Dame Football)

Episode Summary

Simple advice for God-glorifying work

Episode Notes

Jordan Raynor sits down with Lou Holtz, Fmr. Head Coach of Notre Dame football, to talk about the keys to mastering the art of coaching, the simple “WIN” framework he uses for budgeting his time, and his three rules for a good, God-glorifying life.

Links Mentioned:

Episode Transcription

[0:00:05.3] JR: Hey, everybody. Welcome to the Call to Mastery. I’m Jordan Raynor. This is a podcast for Christians who want to do exceptional work for the glory of God and the good of others. Every single week, I’m bringing you a conversation with a Christ follower, who is pursuing world-class mastery of their vocation. We’re talking about their path to mastery. We’re talking about their daily habits and routines and we’re talking about how their faith influences their work.


Today, I am super excited to bring you a conversation I recently had with Lou Holtz. Of course, Lou needs no introduction. He’s the legendary college football coach, best known for leading Notre Dame to their national championship in 1988. He’s the first coach in NCAA history to lead six different programs to ball games. That’s astounding. It goes without saying, he’s a member of the college football hall of fame; in recent years, best known as a broadcaster and commentator on television.


He’s one of the most beloved personalities in all of sports. He’s also well-known as being a devout follower of Jesus Christ. I was so honored that Lou decided to come onto the program. I’m so excited to have him.


Lou and I recently sat down in the middle of the coronavirus crisis. We talked about the keys to mastering the art of coaching. We talked about the simple win, W-I-N framework that Lou uses for budgeting his time, at deciding what to do day-to-day. That’s probably my favorite part of the entire conversation. We also talked about his three rules for a good God-glorifying life. This is a terrific conversation. Please enjoy my time with Lou Holtz.




[0:01:54.3] JR: Coach Holtz, thank you so much for being here. We talked before we got on the line about this quarantine. You and I are both in the State of Florida, stuck at home right now. I’m just curious, before we start talking about your career and mastering your craft, I’d love to get some perspective from you.


You were born in the Great Depression, you lived through World War II, vastly worse phenomenons compared to what we're experiencing today, but how does that history that you lived through give you context to today's events in this coronavirus crisis?


[0:02:25.0] LH: Well, when you talk about the depression, it affected everybody. You talk about World War II, it affected everybody. Coronavirus, we've had 500,000 people, 350 million people be attacked by it. One thing and attacks everybody, but I'm not sure the ruined economy to shut everything down. Yes, in New York they've not yet. In Idaho or everywhere else, widely affect everybody’s lives.


Many times, you can't understand why is this happening. However, there are some positive things about it. You spend more family time together. We do FaceTime with our children and their and they're all together. You spend time together and my wife and I do a bible study together every single day. That wasn’t something you can do before, because my schedule was so hectic, you can never set aside one time.


Well, there's always negative things. One thing I've learned in life, there's always going to be something positive in everything. It happens if we react positively to it. We will give positive results.


[0:03:30.0] JR: Yeah, there’s a lot of wisdom in that. Coach, obviously you're a master of your craft as a coach. I'm really curious, just high-level, whether you're coaching football players, or coaching employees, or a member of another team, what are the keys to mastering the art of coaching?


[0:03:45.9] LH: Well, I think coaching is like anything else. It's just being able to communicate with people, getting people to have a goal and then show them how they could possibly achieve it. The one thing about coach – a lot of people in this world can be successful to make a lot of money. When they die, that ends.


In coaching and teaching in certain areas, you have a chance to be significant. Significant when you hope other people be successful and that lasts many a lifetime. For example, Woody Hayes has been dead for many years, but he still lives, because he influenced my life in so many ways and whether it was Herbert Meyer, or Barry Alvarez, etc., I probably influenced their life, because of Woody Hayes.


Coaching is caring about players. I think it’s like, not real difficult. You also have to have standards. One thing Woody Hayes taught me is that if you're a leader, your obligation is not to be well liked, your obligation is not to be a partner, your obligation is to make people the very best they can possibly be. That only happens when you get them out of their comfort zone. Most people don't realize how much talent and ability they had. They always want to take a less difficult course to follow. Your obligation is to teach them how good they can be. Get them that goals and help them reach those goals.


[0:05:08.6] JR: There's a lot of science to support what you know intuitively through your experience. The mastery requires frequent discomfort. Masters never settle. They always put more weight on the bar. A lot of times, that takes a coach putting more weight on the bar for the player, or for the member of the team to help develop their skills.


[0:05:27.3] LH: I think that your attitude is constant improvement. The great organizations, or great athletes, it’s just constant improvement. They don't talk about what they did well. For example, whether it be Notre Dame, Augusta. They’re just, “What can we do better?” Same thing has to be that attitude as an athlete is you aren't satisfied with what you did, if what you did yesterday was a great day and then you haven't had much today, you're really looking at okay, what can I improve upon? What areas need to be improved upon? It's this constant improvement attitude.


[0:06:00.8] JR: Yeah. What was the most difficult part of coaching for you? You're remembered as this great hall of fame coach, but what was the area that you really had to work on as a coach and really practice?


[0:06:10.2] LH: I think patience and budgeting my time. We always put our priorities, our faith, our faith in God was number one. Every single Sunday that I ever coached, win or lose, we went to church on Sunday as a family and then we went out to breakfast. I mean, that’s a ritual and my children continue that today with their family. Nothing's more important than Sunday church.


That it was instilled in me by my grandparents and my parents. We never missed church on Sunday. Then as you go and you look at dividing things, you’re feeling it. Man, you don't, but just having enough time and then being patient enough. I really wish that I would have spent more time with the athletes individually in their dorm room or in the office, but you can get more done in a relaxed atmosphere. When they get to see that you don't have a selfish agenda, you just want to see them be very good. If you have an obligation to explain to them that when you join a team, your obligations are to the team. Our team has a goal and you have a role. Whatever rule you have, you have to accept that going.


Being able to spend more time with the athlete, that's relaxed environment, explain to them why his role is important and why he has to do it to the best of his ability at all times. Regardless, whether it's a classroom, or whether it happen to be on the football field.


[0:07:39.6] JR: I think athletes struggle with this time budgeting thing, probably as much as coaches, right? I mean, college athletes, you're running from class, to two a day practices, to games. I'm really curious and you're still a busy guy. We were just talking about how busy you are today and how much you've got going on.


What are the lessons that you've taken away from your lifetime of experience, of how to budget your time well? You mentioned getting the rocks in place first. Faith is first, right? Spending time in God's word, going to church, etc. On a day-to-day practical level when you get to the office, what are some of the lessons you've learned about how to budget and spend your time wisely?


[0:08:15.6] LH: Number one, what's important now is the word when. What's important now, this is what I want to get done, we want to win. I want to do whatever it is. Ask yourself 25 times, they win. What's important now? Evaluate the past, focus on the future, tell you what you have to do in the present. What's important now, to get the objectives if we want done. There's always good to be a priority. If you have a hundred things that maybe you'd like to do, but that's not the question. The question is what do you need to do? What has to be done right now?


You list your priorities of things I want to get accomplished. The night before I come in the office, I always sit down and make a list of what I want today to be like, what I want to accomplish, what I’m going to try to do with my time, but it doesn't always work that way, but you judge.


[0:09:06.0] JR: Yeah, there's a lot of wisdom there. There's a hundred or so things that we're all committed to, but you can't do more than one at one time. Continually asking what's the most essential thing to do right now in this moment that's really, really wise.


I want to take you back to something you said at Liberty University recently, which I love. You said, “I don't believe you can accomplish an awful lot in life, anything worthwhile without faith in God.” It just reminded me of Jesus's words and you mentioned John 1. This comes from John 15:5, where he says, “I'm the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you'll bear much fruit. Apart from me, you can do nothing.”


I'm curious what some of your spiritual disciplines have been that have kept you connected to the vine. You mentioned this current bible study you're doing with your wife. For you personally though, what are your spiritual disciplines look like?


[0:10:00.3] LH: Well, it started out both sides. My family were religious. I’d say, we went to church every Sunday, then we go to grandma's for breakfast. All the family congregate. I went to a Catholic grade school as an altar boy, honored the holy days of obligation. You start out every day at school with catechism. We're talking about our Lord Jesus Christ, etc.


You grow up and I was very religious even in the younger age. This is something like, all of a sudden, I had a transformation. As you go along and all of a sudden, you go to college and your friends are in a fraternity, they're going to a father – they're going to save mattress, top my other pillow. I mean, they get up. I was the only one I’d [inaudible 0:10:41.6]. Get up every single Sunday and went to mass.


All of a sudden, you start making those decisions for yourself. My parents, I had a strong belief, and so I believed it. Then you could get away, you find out not everybody shares your belief. Then you have professors that are liberal. Very few of them have a strong religious faith. You start questioning. All of a sudden, when you start looking at the logic, you look at an individual, you look at the heart, his eyes, his ears and reproductive system, spinal column, the brain. Now you're going to tell me that happened by accident? No way.


When you have 11 of the 12 apostles died as martyrs, you aren't going to die for a lie. It’s going on and then it comes down to question, you could go to believe, or you're not going to believe. I chose many time years ago to believe and I've never had any reason to doubt that. Now because you have a faith with Jesus Christ and God, it really doesn't mean you aren't going to have problems. A matter of fact, once you commit your life to God, you're going to have more difficulties than ever, because he's going to test you in that respect.


[0:11:49.1] JR: Amen.


[0:11:49.5] LH: However, here's a difference. When you have difficulties and problems, you can handle them, because you know that they're trying to teach a lesson and God is with you. So having faith helps you into him. It's the people that don't have faith that we're going to blame everybody else and we saw in somebody else's fault. Woe is me and life's not fair. You go on and on. When you understand you're here for a purpose, it makes it much easier.


[0:12:18.5] JR: I want to talk about the application of that wisdom to something earlier in your life. I read that in your youth, you actually prayed that God would make you a great athlete, not a coach, but he didn't answer that prayer directly. Instead, he made you a great coach. What did you learn through that experience of not getting what you initially wanted?


[0:12:39.7] LH: Well, God has this preference, but he does it in different ways. If you want to make God laugh, you tell him what your plans are, because it just doesn't work that way. I always wanted to be a great athlete and I was. I was a good athlete. I was good, but I wasn’t a great athlete. I’d pray, “Oh, God in grace will help me be a good athlete.” He did, but he put me in coaching, for 40 years we can experience the film, excitement, the big games, the excitement and just the environment that you want to have.


We prayed on every decision. Matter of fact, one of the more critical things that happened in our life, I was being recruited by the University of Minnesota. Now they had offered a job to five different people and five turned it down and put three assistant coaches. The athletic director, Paul Giel, had heart attack, so the president of the alumni association said he would go hire a coach, because they got through the list of the committee come up with it.


He brought me into Minnesota and I brought my wife and two of our four children, the other two were in college. He wants an answer. He wants me to coach at Minnesota. The last 17, the last 18 games, the average score was 47 to 13. I knew the program was a challenge.


We sat down, my wife and my two children, myself to talk about going to Minnesota. Boy, everybody had a different point of view and nobody wanted to do it. “It’s cold and I don't want to leave my friends.” I said, “Okay. We're all going to go into a separate room,” in a penthouse of course in a hotel, “And we're all going to pray on this for one-half hour. We would come out.” It was amazing. Yes, that half hour prayer, the whole atmosphere in our family had changed. Both children said, “Yeah. We think it would be a fine different environment.” My wife was okay.


In praying, I came up with this feeling that I just needed to put the Notre Dame clause in there. I would be allowed to go to Notre Dame if they contacted me after we had accepted a bet at Minnesota figuring that day 5 or 6. We did in our second year. When we accepted the bid play to play [inaudible 0:14:56.3], we’re at Diamond City and the following Monday, Notre Dame called me and said, “Jerry Faust had resigned.” They wanted to talk to me about the Notre Dame job.


You can talk about weird things happening, but the timing of it. I just felt that, the reason I felt that, Jeanne Corrigan, who recently passed away the past few months, great leader. He was the idea at Virginia and he tried to hire me three different times to coach Virginia, to which never the situation I could go there. My logic was if he's at Notre Dame and there's something happening, why would he not be interested in me if we turned Minnesota down? That's how prayer comes in to our everyday life.


[0:15:41.4] JR: Yeah. It's a story of submitting your plans to the plans of the Father and being open handed with your plan. Say, “This is what I want, Lord, but my life is service and I'm going to submit to your leading.” As I was reading your story about you said you're a good athlete, but not a great one, I think a lot of young people who are in that situation today, we get advice of well, you're good, but man, you just got to work harder. You just got to persevere.


I think there's so much wisdom in what you articulated, just recognizing that, “You know what? I'm good at this. I'm probably never going to be world-class at this.” Because of that, I feel this call to excellence. I'm going to pivot to coaching. I think there's a lot of wisdom there. I'm curious if your faith had anything to do with that decision, if your faith shaped this desire and this pursuit of excellence and caring deeply about being great at what you do.


[0:16:39.6] LH: Well, God just wants us to be the very best we possibly can. What I told all four of our children when they were growing up, number one, find something you like to do. Life's too short to go do something that’s a drag. Number two, find something you do very well, that you enjoy and that you are talented at. The last point, find somebody to pay you to do it.


I like golf. [Inaudible 0:17:07.0]. I couldn’t find anybody to pay me to play call. Golf is a hobby. Now if you do something you like and you do something you do well, and you find somebody to pay you to do it, you've got a career. If you don't, you have a hobby. Let's make sure we understand the difference between a career and a hobby. Some people like to play. That's wonderful, but you can't get anybody to pay you to play, so that's a hobby. You just do between a hobby to a career.


The Bible over and over and particularly in Proverbs, just do everything to the very best of your ability. That's all God wants you to do. You put your head on the pillow, then I’d say the athlete, you can fool me, fool your teammates, you can fool the official, you fool the crowd, that PB on it, but you can’t fool yourself.


[0:17:54.6] JR: That’s good. I love the distinction you made. I'm not sure if this was intentional, but you said that we are called to be the very best versions of who God has created us to be. You didn't say, we're called to be the best in our field, or the best in our class, or the best in the world, the best coach in the world, best sales executive. Can you talk about the difference between those two things?


[0:18:14.6] LH: Oh, absolutely. Not everybody can be all-American, not everybody be on conference, not everybody be the first team, not everybody made me an A student. Everybody can be the best you're capable being.


With our children, all I want to know was that the best you could do, whether it was creating your room, cutting the grass, your schoolwork, that's all. That’s the only criteria you should have is what was I capable of doing and how close did I come to realize that. Don't do something, because somebody's looking, somebody's going to apply, just someone's going to give you an award.


You do everything to the best of your ability, because that's the way you live, that's the way you believe. You at the end of the day, feel good, that you lived the right way, you did everything to the best of your ability, you cared about other people. Life's not complicated. See, we complicate life and we don't have to.


[0:19:09.1] JR: Yeah, I agree. Paul says in 1st Corinthians 10, “Do all things for the glory God.” He doesn't tell us that we have to accomplish. It's not about the pursuit. It's not about the outcomes of our pursuits of excellence. It's about the pursuit of excellence and being good stewards of the gifts that God has given us, right?


You once told your players I love this quote. I think it came from your autobiography. You said, “If the rewards you seek are found in the praise of others, you're destined for disappointment, because the moment you drop one pass or lose one game, the cheering stops and the praise goes away.”


I think we all need to hear that's whether we're a football player, or a coach, or a podcast, or an author, whatever, I'm curious, how did your faith, how did the resources of the gospel of Jesus Christ allow you to preach that sermon to yourself throughout your career as a coach?


[0:19:58.5] LH: Well, I think in this, you go through life, you find out that you always want recognition, you want adulation of [inaudible 0:20:08.3] the bible tell that. But to go do everything with the very best of your ability. You're going to have ups and you're going to have downs. I mean, they're going to be difficult each in life, there’s going to be disappointment. There will be things that don't work out the way you want.


If you have a faith in God and you understand the basic principle of putting on this earth to be the very best I can be, not to live up to other people’s expectations. When you have difficulty, which is going to come, you have a stronger faith.


One of the unfortunate things with this quarantine right now, more people would turn to God in normal times, because we don't need it with the crowds cheering, and the bands play, the TV lights are on in your head by 20.


When you need to face it, when things aren't going well, that's where that really counts, that you sit down and you evaluate it. It was so difficult. As a friend of mine says, it’s the first time he ever went to mass. Of course, he’s watching along TV and he goes, “That’s the first time I ever wanted to mass with my own glass of wine.” Because we can do that at home. We can’t do that at church.


It’s just amazing that when you have difficulty and if you have a faith in God. I mean, the true faith, you’ll understand that everything has a purpose. Having the great example of that, my wife Beth. She's a cancer survivor, stage four. She's not particularly go dialysis. She got on a feeding tube pretty early and be on the rest of her life. She has serious infection in her lungs, which can't be cured, but maybe controlled. She has trouble with her throat, because 83 radiation treatments over the years.


You know what, she never complains and she just talks about the positive things in our life and how fortunate she's been. When things go badly, she counts her blessings, she counts her children, she counts the 59 years of marriage we've had together, just all the experiences we've had, etc.


Have enough faith in God that you're going to look on the positive side. People said, “Well, you're always pretty positive and what's the difference?” I thought about it. I never analyzed it before. I said, positive people look for solutions. Negative people look to blame somebody else.


If you're negative, you're going to find that everything is wrong with everybody else and whose at fault and – why you’re here. If you're basically a positive person, you cannot have a faith in Jesus Christ and our Lord without being positive, then you're going to look for solutions, you’re going to look for a way to get things solved. To me, I asked the first time I really asked the difference why I was positive and not negative.


[0:22:55.3] JR: No, that's so good, and you just showing how the resources of the gospel and the truth. Paul talks about in Romans 8:28, “The Lord is working all things for our good, the good of those who love him.” Now, that good might not be on this side of eternity. It doesn't mean that our pain is going to go away, but he's working everything for our good and for his glory and that should allow us to be positive and to just saw problems.


Okay.  In light of that, in light of what I know, how could I solve the problems around me? How can I use my work as a form of worship? By the way, you use that word once before and talking about your life. You said you were put on this earth to help other people and praise our Lord, the purpose of your life. How do you do that through coaching?


The whole purpose of this podcast is showing people how our work is whether it's coaches, or entrepreneurs, or janitors, or pastors can be an act of worship to the Lord, an act of praise to the Lord. How did you think about that through your work as a football coach?


[0:23:50.7] LH: Well, I'd think right is the better choice. People are choosing the less than those – they made a choice. The choice is they go to benefit from this 45 minutes. As there going to be a waste of time for. Wherever you are, good or bad, because of the choices you make. Choose do drugs, drop out of school, join a gang, get tattoos from head to bottom, you’re choosing that difficulty in life and please stop blaming me for the choices you make.


Contrary to what people think, I've never disciplined my children and never disciplined an athlete. Looks like all went to the Orange Bowl without three athletes that scored 78% of your test. I never disciplined them. I didn’t force the choices you make. To my children, they always had a chore. If they didn’t do their chores that week, they didn't go out on Saturday, or Friday, or Saturday. It wasn’t my choice. Now it’s their choice.


When we enforced choices people make, they think we're being unfair and difficult. No. When we learn that whatever happens in our life, because of the choices we make. There's all federal laws, county laws, state laws, corporate laws, by laws, this and outlaws, I just tried to get people to make good choices and by simplified and making it easier to understand how to make good choices. They all basically come from the Bible.


[0:25:19.9] JR: Yeah. Your upbringing in the Scriptures, you already talked about start at a very early age, right? I read somewhere, the nuns in your grade school had a pretty big influence on your life. You describe that influence once by saying, “They encouraged you to always make sure that God is the focus of your life and they didn't allow you to do anything, except to the very best of your ability.”


In your mind, were those two things connected? Those sound like separate thoughts, right? God is the focus of my life and then do everything to the best of our ability. What I'm hearing you say is and it's a theme of this podcast, these things are intertwined, it's because of a focus on God that leads us to a pursuit of mastery and excellence. Is that right?


[0:26:02.0] LH: Yes. My first grade teacher was Sister Mary Baptista. I remember her, because she was one of the kindest, caring person. I started to school a year and a half before I should have, but they needed people to fill up the first grade and say [inaudible 0:26:18.2]. They get out the baptismal certificates. I was the last child at home. When I asked my mom, she said that's great. So, consequently, all through school I was a year and a half younger than my graduating class, which hurt me socially and certainly hurt me academically and then hurt me athletically to be one to two years behind the class that I was with.


Then we had somebody, Sister Mary Bernadette in the fourth grade, Sister Mary Harry in the 7th, Sister Mary Cornelli. I mean, these nuns were tough, they were demanding, they were nasty. When they whipped me with a ruler, I never dared go tell my dad, because he would [inaudible 0:27:01.9].


There are certain things that we used to be taught at home that was reinforced in the school. The one thing we were taught was respect, respect for parents, respect for elders, respect for teachers, for coaches, respect for the law. That was reinforced in the school and it was taught in the home as well. I learned at an early age to respect elders, to respect authority, that has really done me well through the years. If I just stopped for speeding, then I show that officer respect, not upset, “How dare you stop me?”


It's just, you go back and do everything best about it. I only had three rules. You follow three simple rules, you always make good choices. The three rules are all basically bible-oriented. Rule number one, do what's right. You do what's right, you avoid what's wrong. You have [inaudible 0:27:58.6] at the bible. There's never a right time to do the wrong thing, never wrong time doing the right thing. Just do what's right. You know that. I don't think it's right to find a teammate's wallet before he lost it. You go along and you look in life and when you have a choice to make, you say, what's the right thing to do?


Rule number two, do everything to the very best of your ability. That’s what we've been talking about. Just do everything in the best to your ability and not because you're going to get an award. It’s just the way you live. It’s the way you think. It’s the way you believe. It’s what made this country great.


Then the third rule, you show people you care. Everybody is carrying a hardship. Everybody can use a kind word, a smile, an encouragement, you'd never go find anybody again that doesn’t problems or difficulty. Why do we always wait for a few in order to say good things about somebody? Why not sit down and write a note or a letter to somebody that influenced your life along the way, whether it be a teacher, or a coach, or your parents.


When my parents died, I went back to cleaning out their belongings, every letter I wrote my parents in college, they had saved. After all these years, they still saved it and it's not complicated. In all my years, you'll never need a fourth rule. Just those three rules will cover everything that could ever happen to you.


[0:29:31.4] JR: At the end of the day, those are really different ways of articulating what Jesus outlined as the greatest commandments, right? To love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul all your strength and love your neighbor as yourself. We talk a lot on this podcast about the ministry of excellence, this idea that one of the most fundamental ways in which we love our neighbor as ourselves is just doing our job really, really well.


A lot of times, that can open up doors for us to talk about our faith, because people are attracted to excellence. I was talking to Tony Dungy about this. He was talking about how people are just attracted to excellence, to mastery. People want to be around winners. I'm curious for you. Can you recall any stories from your coaching career, in which the fact that you were excellent at your craft opened up opportunities for you to talk about your faith?


[0:30:24.9] LH: Certainly. Many of them and that was one of the great things about coaching at Notre Dame. I could go to church every day on campus, go to confessions there twice a day and go down by the grotto. We beat Miami. They had won 34 games over. We were number one and we're undefeated. It was titled the game of the century. I think it was selected the fifth greatest game of all time. We won the game 31-30. I’ll never forget. The fans poured on that field. It was elbow-to-elbow and NBC, which televised the game are quartered me and wonder how we did it. I talked about the spirit, the Spirit of God, Our Lady on the dome. Just right there on national television.


It was just [inaudible 0:31:15.1]. The game had just ended and we've won in a great game, but just my first thought was give thanks to the Lord. Our prayer after the game, where we always gave thanks to the Lord for whether it be good, or whether it be bad. You also, being the coach at Notre Dame, for example, you had the opportunity to speak in a lot of different functions and things like that that we're very, very really religious and want to hear about your faith and how you believe in it.


Yeah, I think it regardless of what your profession is that you're talking about people are being successful. We can influence people's lives, just day by day, the way you live. You don’t have to be in the public line. You don't have to be on your show, or anything else. For example, my wife, as I said, my wife has an Avery of great people. Now she can't do it anymore, because she's too weak. For years, they would walk in the morning and then exchange bible verses while they walked five miles.


There were two women in the neighborhood who were having difficulty. My wife and Dixie decided they would start a bible study for those two women, the four of them. That was probably 15 years ago. It's grown to 24 in the neighborhood and they came along. They meet every Tuesday at 10:00. Now they can't, because of quarantine. They made it 10:00 every single Tuesday, basically for an hour and 45 minutes and they studied the bible.


She's had such an influence on so many different women and the way they react to God. She, she's not in the public limelight. We can use the way we live our life as a good example, more so than just what we say.


[0:33:11.0] JR: Using it in both words and actions. I love that. All right, coach. Three questions I love to ask every guest before we wrap up these conversations. First and foremost, which books do you find yourself giving away the most to others, or recommending the most frequently to others?


[0:33:27.9] LH: Well, the bible is everything. I mean, Psalms tells you how to get along with God and Proverbs tells you how to get along with man. Also, give away my books also. I like to think we’ve written 3D or typed something. One of the best books I've ever read, it's not a religious book, although it wasn’t religious. That was Zig Ziglar, See you at the Top. That was a great book.


When my children were teenagers, they wanted something. I’d say, “Okay, you read See you at the Top by Zig Ziglar, discuss it with me intelligently and I'll take your request under.” That's how I got them to read the things I wanted them to see. There's so many good books I like to read. I'm not much into reading fiction, or –


[0:34:13.7] JR: Me neither. Yeah.


[0:35:18.5] LH: Tales. I just like to read basic people's lives of what they’ve heard, experienced, that what I could possibly learn from what they experienced.


[0:34:24.8] JR: That's great. We'll make sure to put that book on, so you guys can find an easy link to that. Hey, coach. What one person would you be most interested in hearing talk about how their faith influences their work?


[0:34:40.1] LH: I think, Ben Carson's one of the classiest people you’ll ever be around. His wife, Candy, they're just great people, down to earth. I think that everybody, we can learn from everybody, just the way they act. I always ask why. Why is he successful? Why is he not? Why did you do this? Why didn’t you?


We live in the greatest laboratory in the world and that is in this country, being able to look and study and examine why people do things. Not to evaluate them, not to say, “You're bad, you're good, you're right, you're wrong.” No. What can I learn from? You can learn something from every person.


I’ll tell you something. Now every time I meet somebody and they'll come up to me. First they’re going to say is, “Tell me about yourself.” Everybody's got a story. Everybody has something that happened in their life inside, they want to tell somebody. I love to listen to what other people have to say. Just tell me about yourself. Some will make it short and some of them will eventually, I’ll say, “I got to run now. I look forward to see your book.” Really, truly, just listen to people that you can learn from. I never learned anything in my life by talking. I only learn by listening.


[0:35:59.0] JR: That's really good. Chick-Fil-A, when they're interviewing new employees at corporate, one of their favorite questions to ask is just very open-ended and awkward for a lot of interviewees, but just what's your story?


They're just very genuinely curious about the stories of people's lives. You're right. You learn and people do not have to be world-famous to have compelling stories. It's something we talk a lot about in this podcast. We have famous people like Lou Holtz and we have very unfamous people here all the time, just talking about how mastery can glorify our great God.


All right, coach. Last question. You've given so much great advice, but one piece of advice to leave this audience with and again, this is an audience of Christians, who care deeply about their work, not necessarily success, but just doing their work with excellence for the glory of God and the good of others. What one piece of advice would you leave them with?


[0:36:49.4] LH: Well, Mark Twain said it best when he said, the two most important days in your life, one is the day you're born and the other is the day you discover why you're born, when discovered basically we're going to help other people, that we have a tendency to complicate life and we don't have to. Ask yourself this question, is your religious life, are you growing, or are you dying?


In your personal life, are you growing or you're dying? In your professional life, are you growing, or dying? That doesn’t have anything to do with age. Whether you’re going with time is determined by one thing, are you trying to accomplish something? Try to get better, try to improve, or are you trying to just maintain? Let's not change anything, let's maintain.


Because anytime you try to maintain any phase of your life, including your religious life, you’re dying. Should be faster we say it, out till I get closer to Christ. If you aren't closer to God, I wonder which one of you moved. I have to believe it's you, not him.


[0:37:51.7] JR: Amen. Coach, I just want to thank you for your commitment to excellence, for serving fans and players and university presidents through the ministry of excellence. Thank you for your example of doing great work and just inspiring us that whatever our work is, that we do it in service of others and we do it masterfully. Well hey, if you want to follow Lou Holtz, he's pretty easy to find. Where are you blogging the most? Are you on Twitter these days?


[0:38:17.7] LH: No, I’m not on Twitter. I’m not on blog. I’m just a simple person. Good Lord. I have a hard time turning on my phone, let alone using it.


[0:38:26.2] JR: Well, somebody's posted to Twitter for you, @CoachLouHoltz88. Coach, thank you so much for joining us on the Call to Mastery.


[0:38:33.9] LH: Thank you for having me.




[0:38:36.1] JR: We recorded this episode so long ago, but it still plays over and over again in my head. What an opportunity to spend some time with the legendary Lou Holtz. That was a really special time. I'm so glad he had the time to do it.


Hey, thank you guys so much for tuning in to this episode of the Call to Mastery. I'll see you next time.