Seahawks left tackle Russell Okung capped GeekWire’s Startup Day 2016 with a 15-minute message meshing sports and business.
“I truly believe that our worlds coincide,” said Okung, co-founder of the Greater Foundation which aims to equip the next generation with tools for success. “I believe there’s a very interesting parallel between the startup world and the football world as well, and i’m going to do my best here today to kind of really bring light to that.”
“The first point I’m going to make today is philosophy,” Okung said. “It is all about the ball.”
“In fact, this is so important that Pete, he was fired five times, and if you were to ever ask him, ‘Why were you fired? What happened?’ He would tell you, ‘Honestly, I didn’t have a philosophy. I didn’t have anything that I stood for. I didn’t have anything that was concrete for me to hold onto.’ … That’s how much philosophy means. That’s how much philosophy should mean to your companies, to mean to your startups, to mean to the people who are involved in that. It should mean so much that a product of that environment should know it, should know every single thing about what matters.”
Okung, a product of Carroll’s environment, used his second point to harp on his coach’s endless emphasis on competition.
“The standard for competition is we want to get the best out of every single moment,” said Okung. “You want to get the best out of every single moment. You want to understand, in terms of competition, that the standard is getting your best not only out of every moment, but out of everybody that’s next to you. Everybody should understand competition and what it’s all about.”
The third and final point Okung made centered around the concept of teamwork. He formed an ‘L’ shape with his right hand and lifted it up in the air before relaying to the audience that the ‘L’ used to symbolize four talented members of the Seattle secondary, the ‘Legion of Boom.’ Recently, though, the sign took on new meaning, ‘Love Our Brothers,’ something Okung said Seattle players “were able to capture better than anybody else.” He credited that camaraderie and “selfless love” the Seahawks created as “something that’s made us unstoppable.”
“What’s given us so much success, what’s given us the power to come back when we’re down 31 points, or to go on that last drive in the Super Bowl, or to be unfazed any time we have a setback,” Okung said. “It’s because there’s a love that’s deeply ingrained in who we are. A love that says, ‘I can’t, and I refuse, to let my teammate down.’”
Curated from Three Startup Lessons From Seattle Seahawks Left Tackle Russell Okung [Seahawks]
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