I had the great pleasure of attending the Hall-of-Fame Enshrinement Ceremony for Curtis Martin in Canton, Ohio, a couple of weeks ago. What a great experience! It was one of the highlights of my professional life. Curtis Martin gave a memorable acceptance speech that you should watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQ8urqSGCQg. Curtis certainly deserves the be in the Hall, but not just for what he did on the field. He was the ultimate leader, on and off the field. He was always putting others ahead of himself. He was the guy who would help the team staff pick up laundry after practice. He was the guy who would shake everyone’s hand before the game. He was the guy who led our prayer group just before games. He was the guy who gave to charitable causes like it was going out of style. He was and is a servant leader. He led by example and by word.
Robert Greenleaf first coined the phrase “Servant Leader” years ago. For centuries, people have led from the heart and influenced others to accomplish great things. Curtis is one of those people who serves first and then leads. His leading is not a call to action based on threats or diluted promises, but is founded in humility and service. Congratulations to Curt for his inspirational message, his words and his life.