Jim Caldwell delivered leadership speech at Morehouse
11:20 pm March 29, 2011, by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Caldwell spoke at Morehouse College on Tuesday. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/

Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Caldwell delivered a speech titled, “The Six Pillars of Effective Leadership” to a crowd of about 1,000 students in the Bank of America Auditorium at Morehouse College on Tuesday.

The event was sponsored by the Morehouse Management Club. Caldwell took questions from a panel of students from Morehouse’s Journalism and Sports Program and then from the audience.

He stayed afterwards to take a picture with Morehouse head coach Rich Freeman and the football team, which made the school’s first appearance in the Division II playoffs last season.

(I chatted with him afterwards. I didn’t get any information on what the Colts are doing with the 22nd pick, five picks in front of the Falcons. He politely told the crowd he couldn’t talk about the lockout. He noted that the Falcons are slated to play at Indianapolis next season. Also, we talked about some PFWA business with the hope that the Colts start giving better access to their local media.)

Before I get to his speech, he noted that Peyton Manning has over 400 passing plays and 50 running plays at his disposal when he’s barking out signals at the line of scrimmage. That’s a bunch! I just thought he had a few plays and was making all of those goofy gestures to confuse the defense. The Falcons had 32 plays in their no-huddle attack last season.

ON TO THE SPEECH: The Six Pillars of Effective Leadership

1. Competence

2. Humility

3. Authenticity

4. Motivation

5. Passion

6. Service

1. Competence: In order to be competent he stressed that concentration is key.

He singled out Manning, here.

“He’s as bright of a guy that you’ll ever be around,” Caldwell said.

He spoke about Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “Outliers: The Story of Success.” He supported Gladwell’s notion that it takes 10,000 hours of work to perfect your craft.

“Commit to becoming an expert,” Caldwell said.

He noted that the first players to get cut in the NFL are those players who can’t learn the material fast enough.

2. Humility: He showed a clip of Manning at the line of scrimmage calling a series of plays.

“He’s confident and extremely humble,” Caldwell said.

He warned them about being dazzled by false prophets.

“I think we all know a lot of folks that have a whole lot of style, but no substance,” Caldwell said.

3. Authenticity: He told the students to be comfortable in their own shoes and spoke of how difficult it was following Tony Dungy as the head coach in Indianapolis.

“I had to be myself,” Caldwell said. “I couldn’t be Tony Dungy. There is only one Tony Dungy. He transcended our sport. . . I had to be very comfortable in my shoes.”

4. Motivation: He doesn’t like players who are motivated by money, because once they get a big contract their play dips.

He doesn’t like the players who are publicity hounds because they can be dysfunctional in pursuit of selfish goals. (Read: Reality shows.)

“No one lasts, but the self-starters,” Caldwell said. “They are highly competitive. They are those ‘Type A’ personalities that are driven by success. You have to make sure that you keep challenging them on a daily basis.”

5. Passion: “You’ve got to have passion in what you do,” Caldwell said.

6. Service: He noted that the coaching business in a service industry.

“I try to serve (my players) and help them get better at what they do,” Caldwell said.