You might think there are two people less alike than Bret Michaels and Tony Dungy.
Michaels is a long time rocker. Dungy is a former NFL coach. One is flamboyant and the other unassuming. Michaels starred in the reality show called Rock of Love. Dungy is overt that his life is built on the rock of faith.
What do they have in common?
They’ve both demonstrated there are different paths to extraordinary success; that you can break the supposed mold and win big.
Michaels was named the winner of Celebrity Apprentice on last night’s final episode. He beat worthy opponent Holly Robinson Peete. Peete was the confident, accomplished business woman/actress who might reasonably have been considered the favorite to win. Michaels was the creative rocker who liked to sleep in but he proved to be more than a musical celebrity. His leadership abilities coupled with his creativity, sense of humor and big heart helped him capture the title.
I’m sure there are naysayers who thought he had, ironically, an unfair advantage from his recent life-threatening illness. I choose to believe that difficult circumstances just revealed what a true warrior he really is.
I interviewed Tony Dungy recently and his route to fame and success is as unusual as Bret Michaels’. In an environment where big egos, yelling and hysterics on the sideline are not uncommon, Dungy is a soft-spoken and humble man. He was an accomplished player and a savvy coach, but his demeanor is radically different from a typical star athlete or Super Bowl-winning coach. He seems less driven than dedicated, and his is a quiet ambition that focuses more on others than on himself.
Both Dungy and Michaels defy the myth of the singular path to success. They defy the popular formulas. They both prove that personality and passion express themselves differently in different people and that Frank Sinatra was on to something when he sang about doing it “my way.”
And they demonstrate that who culture considers an underdog might in reality be an alpha dog.
Interesting points (as usual!) I have long been an admirer of Tony Dungy. He is an honest-to-goodness (boy, does that term fit here) man of integrity. Rare on AND off the field of celebrity.
While I didn’t consistently watch the Celebrity Apprentice show, I did catch some bits & pieces while my wife was watching. I must say that I was very surprised at his actions. Very different than the “rocker slut” reputation that proceeded him (Poison, “Rock of Love” TV show, etc.) What I was most impressed with is that he listened, collaborated, had a passionate/positive commitment to success, took gutsy risks, and always held himself accountable for his actions. Michaels’ recent ailments aside, while my initial first impression was to align with the more polished/professional Robinson-Peete, he certainly made an impressive second, third, and fourth impression.
While there are no losers on the show (they all got exposure and some awareness of their charities), some “won” more than others for all the right reasons. If nothing else, Michaels was brilliant at re-inventing himself for a whole new audience. Maybe he can drop the whole “party animal” shtick and start connecting with people from now on like the “new & improved” version we saw this season.
Kind of a nice life lesson about how any of us can choose to take a better path. Whether we’ve been walking that path a long time (Dungy) or just recently (Michaels), we can enjoy the positive natural consequences that come as a result.
Thanks for bringing this lesson home, Mark!
I’ll admit that I was not a Bret Michaels fan prior to Celebrity Apprentice (although I do like his music). Rock of Love, which I caught bits of, seemed tawdry and cheap; it might have advanced his rocker-over-the-top-lifestyle brand but not much else. On apprentice I really dug his humility, humor and willingness to laugh at himself. He came across as a sincerely caring person who was multi-talented. He doesn’t depend on guys like me for his success, but he certainly won me over. And his work with diabetes is important work indeed.