What This Brick Wall In The Broncos Stadium Meant To Me
I believe life is ultimately about relationships. How you deal with one another on a daily basis is so important. Nothing happens without positive, effective communication. When you make it a habit to employ this, people make it a habit to want to be around you. As a professional athlete being on the road and traveling can take its toll but during my career I always made it a point to show gratitude and build relationships.
As I traveled with the Chiefs to Denver recently as the Color Analyst for the Chiefs Radio Network, I was reminded again of this in the visitors’ locker room. Years ago as long snapper for the Kansas City Chiefs our equipment manager came up to me and said that the Denver staff had asked me to sign “the wall” because of how good I had been to them over the years. It was explained to me that this was an invitation only wall and something the Denver equipment staff had come up with. Naturally, I was happy to oblige but wasn’t completely sure what wall they were speaking of.
As they brought me to the wall I was taken aback as I saw multiple HOFers and future HOFers that had signed it.
Future HOFers such as Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, and Tom Brady, to name a few, were on it as well as current HOFers such as Mike Ditka and Charlie Joiner.
As far as I can recall, I don’t know of any other stadiums that do this and I ALWAYS look at this wall when I go back. It’s a little thing but one I’m proud of because it was simply recognizing who I was as a person and how I treated people. I believe there isn’t enough recognition of this in today’s world.
Leadership Involves Saying Thank You and Showing Gratitude
Saying “thank you” and showing gratitude is what I believe is THE most important human emotion. Showing appreciation creates a sense of goodwill towards the one who gave which strengthens the relationship. There are many other benefits to showing gratitude as well such as higher levels of positive emotions on the day to day. It is reported that when you express gratitude and appreciation people experience less “aches and pains” along with physically having lower blood pressure and reporting higher levels of alertness. Additionally, people who show gratitude report that they sleep sounder, wake up more refreshed and exercise at least an additional hour per week.
After years in the making, I eventually launched my own wall called The Will Wall as a place to give people a forum to say THANK YOU. On the Will Wall users, can show the most basic but most important human emotion; GRATITUDE, in a quick and efficient manner with the opportunity for others to see them and be inspired to give their own “game ball”. The “game ball” is a metaphor for both something you do for others and serves as a thank you to what has been done for you. Ultimately, do something so good for someone else that they would think enough of that act of kindness to “put your name and number on their wall”.