Tips From The Top

The Warren Buffett Story That Inspired a Pro Football Team BY Laura Montini

Last Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles head coach told his team the story of a winning businessman.

On a recent Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles took a 27-13 win over the Green Bay Packers. Where did the victorious team draw their inspiration from before the game? A business story. Yes, you read right.

You’re probably thinking: Wouldn’t football coaches be better off telling their teams stories of famous winning football teams?

Perhaps, but according to a recent story in Philadelphia Magazine, Eagles head coach Chip Kelly opted for a simple business story that featured the one and only Warren Buffett. Sort of.

Eagles linebacker Najee Goode retold the story. In sum, it went like this:

A troubled businessman took a walk in Central Park and sat down next to an old man. He told him all about his company’s struggles, and after listening to the story, the old man took out his checkbook.

He handed the businessman a $500,000 check and told him, “Take this, and kindly pay me back in one year. Your business will be fine.” The signature on the check was that of Warren Buffett.

Rather than deposit the money, the businessman went home and locked the check up in a safe. After one year, his business had recovered without him ever having to use the money. So he went to return the check a year later, to the same bench. When he did, he saw the old man accompanied by a nurse.

She told him she was glad he never cashed that check. “This old man is from a nursing home. He sometimes dresses up and pretends he is Warren Buffett,” she said.

What was Kelly trying to make his team understand?

“That everything you need is right there in front of you,” Goode said. Perhaps, also BELIEVING you have a net to fall back into is enough to make you leap high enough to grab the prize. (Even if it turns out that the net was woven out of rotted twine!)

A good reminder to entrepreneurs, too.