Like so many of my fellow Oregonians, I’ve enjoyed following the ups and downs of this team as the 2014 season unfolded. It’s been exciting to watch the games, read articles, and listen to personal stories from our cousins’ son, Matt Pierson (#62), about his experiences as a valuable member of this team.
Whatever the outcome of the game today (and I hope and believe it will be a Duck victory!), I will be a thankful fan.
Thankful for the months of inspiration and entertainment, yes.
But even more thankful for some of the valuable lessons about teamwork and leadership that have been reinforced through the stories told and written about this team and coaching staff, illustrating the many ways in which they have:
- Stayed calm and focused in the midst of chaos and hype,
- Demonstrated commitment to a shared vision, accountability, adaptability, and resilience in the face of adversity, and
- Kept a laser-sharp focus on results and the task at hand: week by week, practice by practice, play by play
Perhaps more important than all of these, is a factor that Andrew Greif described in his article in this morning’s Oregonian, about the secret of Oregon’s success. He suggested that “the Oregon Ducks might be the most tight-knit team in the country.”
With this simple observation, I think Greif hit on one of the most important factors to the success of any high-performing team:
“They like, and thus trust, each other. A lot.”
Photo: before the first home game of the 2014 season, with Skip Lei, Ellen + Fred Devlin at University of Oregon, Autzen Stadium