More than a game: Sports built up executive's confidence
"He had this sign on the front of his desk that said, 'It's amazing what can be accomplished, when no one cares who gets the credit,' " said Deaver. "He really drilled into us that sentiment that is the essence of team. Especially when you look at role players, lineman, long snappers. … If they mess up, miss a block, the run isn't going anywhere.
"I can look at the people I manage, and there are some very, very talented skill players — the wide receivers, running backs, and they're going to hit it out of the park time and time again. And then there are the role players. When you're working for a business, and you're trying to sustain that business and grow it, everybody is important to that team success. Knowing when you have to be a leader, knowing when you have to be a follower, that definitely translates into my work life today."
Deaver doubts he would be as successful in business if he hadn't played youth and high school sports.
"I feel like in different stages of my life, I've been able to build on past successes no matter how miniscule they've been," he said. "And over time you look back and say, 'I've had some successes in life. I'm not complacent; I'm not done; I can build on those as I move forward.' "
Deaver said he would have enjoyed the high school experience had sports not been a part of it, but it would have changed who he became.
"I'm an outgoing, social guy," he said. "And I don't know if I would have had a terrible high school experience. But there is something different between being outgoing and social and being part of a team or an organization that is working to accomplish something."
He points to the fact that his football team was mediocre at best.
"We had some rough, rough seasons," he said smiling. "Those rough seasons were good in that, years later, I'm able to look back and say, 'You know what? That could have been a miserable experience, but good coaches and good friends around you, you fight and you keep working and you're a little more diligent the next year and in the offseason and you make improvements.' We doubled our wins each of the three years I played varsity. … It was good because we were fighting toward a common goal."
His experience was so key to his success that he encourages all of his children to play sports.
"As a parent, I want my children to have confidence in themselves," he said. "I want them to be able to excel at something. It doesn't matter what it is — sports, math, the arts — it really doesn't matter to me. But the fact that they can feel that confidence, that they did something and they did it well, that's what matters."
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