Colts coach speaks at Emens

Caldwell visits Ball State to give speech on lessons on leadership

Indianapolis Colts coach Jim Caldwell amazed the crowd at John R. Emens Auditorium Tuesday night with jokes, spelling errors, Colts memorabilia and a unique spin on leadership.

The lecture, "Leadership Lessons from Jim Caldwell," informed people on the "six pillars of leadership" and their importance to being a successful leader.

Caldwell said he didn't think his lecture would be different from others who have come to Ball State to speak, but that his leadership lessons would provide some insight into what it takes to be a leader.

"I am not certain it will be anything different from some of the other leaders that have been here," he said. "What I'll try to do is to just let [students] know what we [coaches and the Colts] value in terms of what we think our pillars of leadership are that are extremely important to us and then how they function within the realm in which we work."

Caldwell opened the lecture talking about his first pillar: being competent. Caldwell said hard work is the key to being competent and people have to commit in order to be competent.

Caldwell then showed a video of Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and how he shows competence and humility during each game day.

Before Caldwell began coaching, he was a collegiate athlete. In the late 1970s, Caldwell played defensive back for the Iowa Hawkeyes for then-coach Bob Commings.

Caldwell said his experiences with Commings and the lessons he learned from his parents growing up helped shape him into the leader and person he is today.

"They didn't just talk about integrity, character or obedience, they lived it," Caldwell said. "They modeled it out for me early on in my life. They also required much of me, too. That carried over to going to college and playing for Bob Commings, who was a taskmaster and a very hard-nosed guy with a lot of passion.

"I think the two of them really gave me what I consider to be two very important aspects of leadership."

Some of the other leadership pillars Caldwell mentioned during the lecture included humility, authenticity, motivation, passion and service.

At the end of the lecture, before he held a question and answer session for the audience, Caldwell passed out free Colts T-shirts and hats to the audience members who answered his questions correctly.

Caldwell said Ball State has a program designed to bring in people such as himself, which he said drew him to come to campus.

"I think obviously [Ball State has] a very unique program here," he said. "They have a program that's designed to bring guys in like me that have a penchant for leadership or where leadership is very important. I typically have an opportunity maybe to do a few a year, and this was one I've been looking forward to."