one life blog

I Am Third

Gale Sayers was unquestionably one of the best running backs to ever tote the pigskin. A speed demon from the Midwest, the Kansas Comet had more moves than Bobby Fisher on a chess board. Mr. Sayers remarkable body of work ultimately landed him a spot in Canton’s Coveted Hall. His acceptance speech was a model for all aspiring athletes that would seek to follow in his footsteps. Giving God the glory, he thanked his Savior, Jesus Christ, along with his family and friends that helped put him on a path of athletic greatness.

You see, Mr. Sayers “got it”. While he carved out a career in the National Football League that many would give their right arm for, he didn’t consider it to be his greatest achievement. He had his priorities “right” in life. He believed in a paradigm that put God first, his family second, and his personal needs and desires third. He was so strongly convicted by this selfless model that it inspired the title of his biography, “I Am Third.” I’ve always admired this philosophy and sought to replicate it in my own life, although I must admit, I fall short frequently.

As it pertains to One Life, I think it would serve our company well if we followed Mr. Sayers’ example, too. Could you imagine the positive implications for our organization if we all believed in, and committed ourselves, to this personal values hierarchy? Following Jesus and putting Him first in all things would compel us to seek His counsel through His Word and through prayer every day. Putting family next in the line-up would inspire us to spend quality time with our spouses, children, grandchildren, and other important family members. If we all followed this archetype, our organizational culture would undoubtedly mirror our core values — Integrity, Service, Teamwork, and Excellence. With Christ as the foundation, we would love each other in spite of our differences. We would be kind to each other even when we were having a rough day. We would consider each other’s needs before our own. Wow!! Can you imagine the power behind this type of approach to life and business? Can you imagine the unity? Can you imagine the stability? Can you imagine our ability to tackle daily challenges together? Can you imagine the progress we could make?

I’m convinced that flourishing organizations build legacies and staying power through creating an environment of self-sacrifice. Putting God and others before self is in keeping with Jesus’ summary command of, “Love God and love people”. I think that is what Mr. Sayers had in mind when formulating his priority pyramid.

Scotty Elliott
President & CEO
One Life America