The University of the Cumberlands welcomed Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame quarterback and Fox Sports NFL analyst Terry Bradshaw Tuesday night as the featured speaker at the 13th Annual Excellence in Leadership Series, sponsored by Forcht Group of Kentucky.
Bradshaw, who played in six AFC Championship Games, won four Super Bowls and was named Super Bowl MVP twice, told the capacity crowd at the O. Wayne Rollins Center that leadership starts with having fun and that begins with the way you greet someone.
“Learn how to be nice,” Bradshaw said adding that “nobody wants to do business with unhappy people?”
Bradshaw pointed to fellow Fox NFL analyst and former Dallas Cowboys Coach Jimmy Johnson, who led the Cowboys to three Super Bowl wins in the 1990s as a prime example of someone who can walk into a room and automatically draw people to him.
“Can you develop those skills? Absolutely!” Bradshaw told the crowd.
Bradshaw said the ability to lead begins with finding your calling.
“Everyone has a calling from God,” Bradshaw said reminding the crowd that God said in the Bible, “Be still and I will speak to you.”
Bradshaw said from the time he was a child, his goal was to play in the NFL.
“I was on a mission,” Bradshaw said. “I worked hard.”
Bradshaw said despite being drafted number one in the 1970 NFL draft by the Steelers, success wasn’t a given.
“I threw five interceptions in a game with the Steelers, twice,” Bradshaw said. “Why? It’s easy!”
Despite playing so poorly at times, and even hearing “boos” from the Pittsburg faithful on more than one occasion, Bradshaw said there is one thing he can say that is an immense source of pride in his NFL career.
“I never quit!” Bradshaw told the audience.
Bradshaw said one thing he is known for besides being a story guy, is that he is always smiling.
“I want to leave an impression,” Bradshaw said of why he always smiles adding that while he only made $300,000 a year playing a position where NFL quarterbacks make $20 to $25 million today, they all make their living the same way, putting their hands under another man’s butt.
In addition, Bradshaw said being a quarterback is like being a leader in any other profession.
“We are there to put people in a position to win,” Bradshaw said. “It is a snowball effect.”
Bradshaw said he begins each day by tell ing the Lord, “It’s a great day! I’m glad to be alive!”
Bradshaw said in a day and age where more and more people look down on people who have religious convictions, it is important for the believers to stand up.
“Don’t be ashamed of scripture,” Bradshaw said.
The series is made possible by an endowment from local business owners Dr. Terry and Mrs. Marion Forcht. To open the event, University of the Cumberland President Dr.
Larry Cockrum presented the Forchts with the Leadership Award.
“You serve as a role model for our students on what it means to be a servant leader and give back to those around you,” Cockrum said in presenting the award.