There are many people who
could be Olympic Champions, All-Americans who have never tried.
I'd estimate five million people could have beaten me in the pole
vault the years I won it, at least five million. Men that
were stronger, bigger and faster than I was could have done it,
but they never picked up a pole, never made the feeble effort to
pick their legs off the ground trying to get over the bar.
Greatness is all around us!
It's easy to be great because great people will help you.
What is fantastic about all the conventions I go to is that the
greatest in the business will come and share their ideas, their
methods and their techniques with everyone else. I have seen
the greatest salesmen open up and show young salesmen exactly how
they did it. They don't hold back. I have also found
it true in the world of sports.
I'll never forget the time I
was trying to break Dutch Warmerdam's record. I was about a
foot below his record, so I called him on the phone. I said
"Dutch, can you help me? I've seemed to level off; I
can't get any higher." He said, "Sure, Bob, come
on up to visit me and I'll give you all I got." I spent
three days with the master, the greatest pole vaulter in the
world. For three days, Dutch gave me everything that he'd
seen. There were things that I was doing wrong and he
corrected them. To make a long story short, I went up eight
inches. That great guy gave me the best that he had.
I've found that sports champions and heroes willingly do this just
to help you become great.
John Wooden has a philosophy
that every day he is supposed to help someone who can never
reciprocate; that's his obligation.
When in college working on
his Masters' Thesis on scouting and defensive football, George
Allen wrote up a 30 page survey and sent it out to the great coaches
in the country. Eighty-five percent answered it completely.
Great people will share, and
that is what made George Allen one of the greatest football
coaches in the world. Great people will tell you their
secrets. Look for them, call them on the phone or buy their
books. Go where they are, get around them, talk to them.
It is easy to be great when you get around great people.