Articles in this Sunday’s NY Times Sports Section… “As a Butterfly Or as a Bee, Ali Made An Impression”, “A Profile in Courage, Significant Beyond Any Sport”, “From Blockbuster Fighter to a Country’s Conscience”, “Foils and Friends Bound By Respect”.
All of a sudden, I was struck by the significance of this man. Not that I had before, but in death, it made me pause. Athlete, father, leader, advocate, mentor or whatever word you attach to him, it works!
As a coach of athletic leaders, Ali wore the badge of authenticity, indicative of leaders! He was who he was. Always true to himself, said what he wanted and regardless of the outcome, it worked! It made history, it made the man. It shaped our culture.
We often say that the more conscious you are, the more aware and more powerful. That’s a leader. Life holds options and opportunities. No matter how much Ali battled, he was powerful. Because we believed him…whether we agreed or not, he became etched in our psyche. He used his stress of “I’m right, You’re wrong” or “you’re ignorant”, when referring to Joe Frazier”as a powerful belief mechanism. It was his perspective because he always wanted something more, not needing something more. Big difference.