Former Notre Dame head football coach Gerry Faust gave the keynote speech and later signed complimentary copies of The Golden Dream.
CINCINNATI - Gerry Faust stood in front of the gathering of Excellence Alliance Inc. (EAI) managers at the group's recent meeting and expounded on a simple message: "Achieve the extraordinary." That was the theme of the meeting, and the former head football coach at the University of Notre Dame drew on real-life experiences to detail examples of extraordinary accomplishments.

Faust talked about the importance of keeping good people in the company. "You are no different from your employees," he said. "They want to be treated just like you. When you get a good technician who goes into a customer's home and takes care of them, don't lose that technician."

He told the story of a recruiting visit he made to the home of a high school football player. The young man pushed his mother away from his stereo when she went to adjust the volume. Faust tore up the letter of intent that Notre Dame had prepared as encouragement for the player to attend the university.

"If he treats his mother like this, he will treat our Notre Dame family like this, and I don't want him," Faust said. "Your business is your family, too. Excellence Alliance is a family, too - and that is very important."

Faust is very big on goal setting, even if the goals may be unreachable or unrealistic. He talked about "redirecting" goals if you need to make adjustments.

"At the beginning of one of our seasons, our goal was to be the national champs," he stated. "After three straight home losses, we made it a goal to become the best Notre Dame comeback team of all time by winning our final four games."

They did.

"We all have dreams in our lives - dreams on how to make our businesses better," Faust said. "Believe in something and set goals. Focus on the little things first. In sports, it is often the little things that can win or lose games."

Faust concluded his remarks by pointing to the most important things in life. "If you have faith, family, and friends, that is all you need in life."

Publication date: 01/19/2004