Buckeye Coach Urban Meyer says E+R=O

There has been some confusion about my identity: Am
I a Buckeye or a California girl? I was born and raised in Newark and Heath,
Ohio, and moved to the Los Angeles area 23 years ago at the age of 23. I have
spent equal time in both states. Currently, I carry water with me wherever I
go, I tan from a bottle, I love my big sunglasses, every day can be considered
swim suit season, I like to give lettuce to the rabbits in the yard, and of
course I’m never without my lipstick. But I’ve also hunted deer and turkey,
gutted and cooked a rabbit for dinner, pronounced creek like crick, gone shale
surfing in the Hocking hills, been mud bogging, stomped giant bugs in high heels,
and tater-tot casserole is still among my top five favorite meals.

             There are two “events” that caught my
attention this week on TV that caused me to ponder my identity: The Ohio State Buckeyes
blowing past Penn State (14-63) and The Ohio State Marching Band appearing
three different times on The Today Show. I’m thrilled that Savannah Guthrie has
taken a liking to the Buckeye halftime show because we get to see TBDBITL all
the way out here California. But it was something that Urban Meyer did, that
was relayed from the sideline by Holly Rowe of ESPN that caught my attention.

held up a red wristband with the letters E+R=O, meaning Event + Response = Opportunity.
Meyer had previously explained this to the
Columbus Dispatch, “You can’t control the event. But what you can control as
the leader is your response [to produce a favorable outcome]. Your response as
the leader is other people’s ‘E.’ ” My
response is other people’s event?!

From Rowe during the
fourth quarter:  “Urban Meyer believes
one of the reasons the Buckeyes are undefeated is that the players have done a
good job developing leadership. In February he hired Tim & Brian Kight (from
Focus 3) to help install a system for building exceptional leaders. The players
have to earn the wristband and then they are empowered to give a wristband to
other players who demonstrate strong leadership (on the field, in academics, in
their personal lives). Tom Kight says that of all his years of training people
all over the world, Urban Meyer has gotten it and implemented it quicker than
any other person he has worked with. Meyer says his ‘team is a purpose driven
team. They love to play for each other. The military fights for their country,
here they fight for the Scarlet and Gray, but really, when you are a family
unit, you fight for your family.’ That motivation and inspiration is higher on
his hit list than any of the plays they call on the field. Meyer feels the
plays take care of themselves once they get everyone going in the right
leadership direction.” I was so taken by that segment I rewound it three times.

After watching the game
and the band I did some digging and found several articles on the “Urban
Renewal” going on at OSU and came across a YouTube video of Meyer being
interviewed by Todd Gongwer, author of LEAD…for
God’s Sake!
  In the video Meyer makes
it clear that this book made a dramatic impact on his life, which compelled him
to up the ante in his leadership program and to develop the E+R=O system.

Rowe’s segment in conjunction
with the articles got me thinking. My identity is deeper, obviously, than
simply my physical locale of being a Buckeye or a California girl, or of
feeding the rabbit or eating it for dinner. My identity is the character
produced by the minute-by-minute choices to do the right thing when no-one is
looking. My identity is the Outcome of my Responses based on the Events in my

What if we had purpose
driven families; would there be less loneliness and less chaos? What if we had purpose
driven schools; would there be less bullying? If we had purpose driven families
and schools, would we produce people of substance rather than striving for superficial
success? What if we purposely taught our children the leadership skills that
Urban Meyer is teaching his football players; would we have a winning team like
the Buckeyes?

My response is other
people’s event. I like that. We have responsibility to each other. How I
respond to my own events (divorce, death, sickness, finances) produces an outcome
that becomes my kids’ events. How we respond to any given situation is passed
on. And on. The tide can roll in the positive or the negative; the positive is
done on-purpose through leadership and character. The negative is done through
passivity and indifference. Either way, we all contribute to the outcome and we
all feel the effects.

And for the sake of
argument…”Once a Buckeye, always a Buckeye.” O-H

–Tara Schiro is the author of “No Arms, No Legs, No Problem: When life happens, you can wish to die or choose to live” NOW AVAILABLE on Amazon and Barnes and Noble http://www.NoArmsNoLegsNoProblem.com 







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