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Leadership Lessons from ‘Da Coach’ Mike Ditka

Attitude, character and enthusiasm key elements to a person's success

The role of a leader is to encourage people to help themselves, according pro football Hall of Famer, ESPN analyst and former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka. "I've had good coaches," Ditka said, "people who encouraged me and showed me the right way."

Ditka was the opening keynote speaker at the Power Transmission Distributors Association Industry Summit in Orlando, FL, last week.

And it is from those coaches, including former Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry, that Ditka learned that much of success lies in being an "ACE."

Being an ACE starts with attitude, according to Ditka. "You cannot blame anyone else for the attitude you have," he said. You can choose how you respond to events and the attitude you have about them. And how you choose to respond will impact how successful you are, he said.

Next is character. "Character is what you are, regardless of what people think you are," Ditka said. It is about what you see in the mirror – and how you feel about that person staring back at you. "You have to love the person you are," he said. If you don't, it's difficult to care about others – and you have to care about others if you're going to build an effective team.

The final piece of being an ACE is enthusiasm. If you're excited about what you're doing day in and day out, chances are much higher that you will be successful at what you're doing, Ditka said.

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