From Speaking No English...
To Playing for the Patriots...
To Becoming A Finance Exec...
Lessons On Pivoting, Fear Conquering & Life Defining.
Imagine you come to US, speaking no English, find out the futbol is actually football, and somehow still find your way to the highest levels of the game, the NFL. That's the story we are telling today. About how to achieve whatever it is your little heart so desires and continue to redefine yourself as life throws you wide passes (wow did I just use football terminology #winning). Paul Francisco Twitter: (@paul_francisco) is going to tell us his story.. and you are going to love the strategies he employs.. Let me paint the picture...
Set the scene, I’m at the Gaylord Texas for an ALPFA convention, picture if Disneyland were an indoor hotel on steroids and filled with Latinos. I’m at a little cantina chatting with Paul about how our stories have evolved since I left the company where he heads diversity and inclusion. As we walk past the innumerable tables and groups of people, I get a glimpse of why Paul is such a special dude. I'm with the proverbial mayor. He stops to shake hands, give hugs, dar besos and congratulate on others successes. I know literally no one, but Paul seems to have that inherent quality of making all 3000 attendees feel they are his gente, his people. That is Paul, 6'3, former Patriots NFL player, current finance exec, from Honduras, standing in a power suit, not bad to look at, and always sporting a big huge smile. The difference between Paul and the myriad other successful individuals I chat with, is that Paul really is about his gente. It almost makes sense that he’s dedicated his life post-football to diversity and inclusion. He was the only black kid in his town in Honduras, who gave away his rather large shoes to another kid that needed them more. He’s the kind of guy that reveals how the day he realized he’d never play in the NFL spotlight again post injury, he pulled over, had a good cry and then re-dedicated his life to the next step. He now fights to insure people of color, women, those with disabilities, and LGBTs, all have shoes to wear in corporate America and their chance at the spotlight. He applies the tenacity that brought him to college on a scholarship from Honduras, to the NFL playing for the Pats under Belichick, Shula (@donshula), to working for one of the world’s largest asset managers on promoting opportunities for people like you and me.
On this episode Paul tells his story, he breaks down how he found his why, the incredibly insightful strategies he uses to overcome obstacles, how he gets mentors, how he uses fear to focus and the way to pivot when necessary. Listen in for a look at how to continually re-define your life, beat expectations, and why diversity is a lifeblood we should all be seeking in our companies, communities and tribes.
These gems jumped out at me:
- His mantra: 5 P’s – Prior preparation prevents poor performance.
- When you get to the NFL everyone physically is at more or less the same level, the difference between a good athlete and a great professional athlete is mental. The game is 80% mental and 20% physical.
- On Visualization – When you get to the end zone you have to have lived it or imagine it. 1000 times I’d picture getting a touchdown and what it would feel like so that when I eventually had the opportunity I would have been there before.
- Thoughts on finding mentors – I’ve never gone to someone and asked them to be my mentor. It’s more that I think of myself as Paul Francisco Inc. So I surround myself with people that can be my advisors, my corporate board, if you will.
- “It's never as bad or as good as it seem to be.”
- "If you can’t bring your whole self to your company it’s probably not the right place for you."
- "Fear keeps me alive. I have a fear of failure so my combat mechanism is whenever I feel fear I focus."
- "Tough situations don’t last. Tough people do."
Find Paul Francisco Here: