Even the most casual of football fans have likely seen Maria Taylor flash across their flat screens on Saturday mornings with a calm yet confident demeanor that commands your attention. Cerebral in her delivery, the same 6’2” frame that made Maria an elite volleyball and basketball player more than holds her own, standing chin to chin, next to the most prolific collegiate athletes. For those unfamiliar with her story, Maria transcended boundaries in 2017 becoming the first black female to co-host College GameDay Built by The Home Depot, and is now entering her fifth season as an analyst, host, and reporter for ESPN.
And for WCI conference attendees whom had never seen Maria or heard her speak, she now has your attention! She shared valuable insights with a certain conviction that hit home for us, so we wanted to share a few of our favorites with you.
Maria will be the first to admit that her road was a road less traveled full of disappointment, rejection and turbulence that required course adjustments along the way. The journey she shared delivered a message that was applicable for everyone in the conference hall: adjusters, case managers, legislators/policy makers, risk managers, physical therapists, health care providers, and the list goes on.
ESPN recently sent Maria and Holly Rowe to the University of Georgia for an interview with QB Jake Fromm as he prepares for his 2019 junior season. Football fan or not, these four lessons learned on the gridiron can be applied for any individual looking to take your career to the next level, develop chemistry with your team and stand a cut above the rest.
4th Quarter: toughness, effort, commitment and discipline. Difficult decisions and tough choices are inevitable. Crunch time is your time to demonstrate to others that you will lead them into battle. There will be points in everyone’s life and career where they encounter a crossroads. Have faith in yourself and your peers. Maintaining an even-keeled toughness, commitment, discipline and effort during the hardest days earns respect.
Always stick the landing. No matter how high or how hard the fall, fall with grace and dignity. Dust yourself up and stand tall. Nobody is perfect; everybody makes mistakes. Bouncing back with vengeance and learning from your mistakes only helps you grow stronger in your own life and as an integral member of your team.
We deserve this. Positive thoughts and affirmation can make all the difference. Belief in yourself, empowerment of others and encouragement along the way goes a long way towards reaching your goals. In fact, it goes further than you might think towards building a cohesive unit that collectively is stronger than it’s individual parts. Uplift others. The sky is the limit.
No “Fake Fromm”. Watch this clip and you’ll quickly understand the meaning behind no “Fake Fromm”. Being approachable means holding others accountable while maintaining a relationship built on authenticity and open communication. Having conversations with your colleagues or peers that are real and meaningful go a long way towards developing trust and longevity in your career.
Use what makes you special to make everything around you special; and don’t be afraid to claim your success. It’s not about your plan, it’s about your purpose. As long as you have the right mindset you will succeed. As she put it, “If you are not vocal about your goals, you will silently accept failure” because “a dream deferred is the failure to follow through”.
She concluded her keynote presentation discussing the importance of always remaining confident in your abilities. What happens when you get discouraged? Keep things in perspective. Most times your role serves a greater purpose: It’s not about you, it’s about the story. Your work is being recognized even when you don’t think it is.
How you approach your own life often impacts relationships with those around you. It’s why we value each and every one of our CORA employees as much as we do. And it’s the reason why we encourage our therapists to include patients in their recovery plan design while seeking alignment with employers’ return-to-work plans. Our WorkTracks program is so successful in streamlining recovery and costs for employers because relationships matter. That’s why it’s important for us to understand what motivates our patients to ensure better outcomes, faster.
We encourage you to read more about Maria Taylor’s incredible life journey at WCI360.com.