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.