Michael Lehan: Control Your Destiny
Mike Lehan, former NFL cornerback, joined veteran NFL Agent and host Craig Domann on the Pro Mindset® Podcast. Lehan spent 6 years in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins, and the New Orleans Saints. Lehan is currently an Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Minneapolis and also owns real estate. He shares with Craig about the value he places on the education he earned as a Minnesota Golden Gopher and how the challenges of being given to the foster care system, influenced his mindset. He also talks about the things he has learned from coaches and being accountable for your life.
“What kept me going was just the fact that I didn't want to be garbage. I wanted to be better than the next man."
When asked about what his driving force was as a player Lehan explains he was passionate about not being bad. It was this mindset that kept him humble. It wasn’t a passion to be the best, he never strived to be the greatest player on the field. Lehan was instead passionate about not being the worst person on the field. It is a unique mindset, but one that worked for Lehan. Because of this mindset, he was able to take the coaches' instruction and criticism and work with it, rather than be defensive.
“[Nick Saban] always told us that as a head coach, his goal was always to hire people who are smarter than he is.”
Lehan’s career has included multiple coaches who left a lasting impact on him. In his time with the Miami Dolphins, he worked with Coach Nick Saban. He taught him the important lesson of taking in multiple perspectives. Accepting knowledge from other people helps everyone learn and grow. Lehan practices this work as a current Assistant Superintendent of Schools and former Principal of Osseo High School, when hiring new staff.
In his time at University of Minnesota Lehan worked with coach Glen Mason. He states that he learned a lot from Coach Mason. He had a way of advocating for his players to get things for his players like better equipment and facilities. He believed these things would help his players perform better and show that he cared about them. Lehan says that was an important lesson and as a Principal, he tries to do the same for his students.
“You're not supposed to be a passenger on your own journey of life.”
Lehan was put up for adoption at a young age and his time in foster care had a large impact on him. He says that part of the reason he can chase his dreams in life is that he can determine them for himself. The lack of control in his early life forces him to crave control now. He didn’t have the power over his outcome in life at birth, but he does in his adult life. This attitude helps Lehan be in charge of his destiny, rather than a victim in life. Accountability is an important lifestyle trait for the Pro Mindset. Without a sense of control and accountability over your decisions, achieving the hard things that are necessary to make you successful, will not be possible. For Lehan it wasn’t just knowing he wanted to play football, but when he wanted to walk away as well. In his life, he has made all the decisions for his goals himself. Because of that accountability, he has been successful in his football career and beyond.
The hear more on Mike Lehan and how he builds his Pro Mindset, click here.