Proximity to Success

Earlier this week, I shared my takeaway from an interview of coach Mike Tomlin. A friend read the post and pointed out something else that we had a great discussion about. Tomlin shared how impactful working with Tony Dungy was. Tomlin was a 28-year-old new coach in the NFL and also a new father. He was nervous and not sure if he had what it took to succeed in either role. He specifically pointed out that a big part of his nervousness was due to not knowing what to expect—he’d never worked in the NFL and wasn’t raised in a two-parent household.  

Tomlin had dreams and aspirations and was working hard to make them happen. But he didn’t know what it looked like to be a successful NFL coach or a good father. Dungy showed him not only what each looked like but also what it looked like to do both at the same time. Dungy led by example, which gave Tomlin proximity to success and changed the trajectory of his career and his life.

Tomlin is a great example of the impact of proximity to success. When you can see people to whom you relate succeed, it starts to make the impossible feel possible!