Football Great Joe Theismann Delivers Pep Talk To CEA
Annual Industry Forum Kicks off in Los AngelesOctober 20, 2013 By Jeff O'Heir
World Champion quarterback and broadcaster Joe Theismann talked about his struggles, successes and gridiron glories to help CEA kick off its annual Industry Forum Sunday in Los Angeles.
Best known as a quarterback for the Washington Redskins, leading the team to a Super Bowl win in 1982, Theismann focused a portion of his pep talk for CEA's Leadership Academy on the need for leaders to accept change.
"We're in a changing world. How many times have we had to change what we do?" he said. "People aren't opposed to change, they're opposed to being changed." Theismann had his change epiphany on the afternoon of November 18, 1985, while getting ready for a big game against the New York Giants. By that point, his ego had grown out of control. The only person that really mattered to him was Joe Theismann. He realized he needed to move in a new direction. "I said to myself that my life was going to change that day."
And it did, but in more ways than he could have expected.
During a sack by Giant linebacker Lawrence Taylor, Theismann's right tibia and fibula were shattered, ending his football career. (The slow motion replay on YouTube is excruciating to watch.) While he was being carried off the field, "55,000 people gave a standing ovation to someone who didn't think he needed anyone," he said. "You have to understand that you can't go it alone."
While he was recovering and thinking what his next move would be, Theismann listed his future goals, pursued them and that year began a successful broadcasting career.
"Ninety-eight percent of people refuse to pick up a pen and write down their goals," he said. "You have to align your goals and lead people to go in the same direction. You have to look around your organization to see if people feel the same way you do."
Leaders also "have to listen to every single word," he said. "There are people in your organization with great ideas. Make them feel that they have ownership of the ideas coming out of your organization."
Be sure to log into Dealerscope.com during the next couple of days for full coverage of the forum. On Monday we'll report on "Five Technologies to Watch" and on Tuesday we'll bring you the much anticipated "2013 Holiday Sales and Forecast," presented by Shawn DuBravac, CEA's chief economist and senior director of research, and Steve Koenig, CEA's director of industry analysis. We'll also be reporting on general sessions, such as "Know Your Customers: Tech Retail Trends of Women, Teens and Seniors," and "3D Printing: Prototyping a New Industry," as well as the CE Hall of Fame induction dinner.