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Lessons from Rudy

Maybe because we've just had the Easter holiday, or maybe because the Notre Dame women just won the national championship in basketball…. I've been thinking about the movie Rudy recently.

Rudy is a favorite in our house, I'm sure we can all quote several lines/ scenes from this must-see classic for any ND alum. The appeal is not just about the Irish, and not just about the football scenes; for us, the appeal are the lessons of perseverance, teamwork, and accountability.

Even though I know the reference would be lost, I've used quotes from Rudy in the workplace. Here are a few to consider:

  • When Rudy was challenged by his own teammate, suggesting he should lighten up a bit on the intensity in practice, Rudy's response was " If I cool it, you guys don't end up getting ready for next week's game"

  • When Rudy is about to quit, his spirit-guide-disguised-as-janitor challenges him with "Look at you - you're 5-foot-nothin', 100-and-nothin'…. And you hung in with the best football team in the land for 2 years… In this lifetime, you don't need to prove nothin' to nobody except yourself"

  • And my all-time favorite, when Rudy is at his last attempt to transfer into Notre Dame from Holy Cross College, he meets the priest who befriended him on his journey in the Basilica, asking "Have I done everything I possibly can?"…… as a good sponsor, the priest replies "there are 2 hard incontrovertible facts - there is a God, and I'm not him"

Ok, let's paraphrase for the non-movie-geek population - consider these key phrases as you address the next challenge with your business, your team, your strategy, or even with your teenagers:

  • If we lose track of what we need to accomplish together, then we all fail.

  • You only need to prove yourself to yourself.

  • Have I done all I can?

What's your favorite movie quote for everyday life?

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