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Home News Tom Osborne Speaks at Concordia on Ethical Leadership

Tom Osborne speaks at Concordia on Monday, Nov. 14. Photo by Kim Sleeper.


by Hope Moural


Tom Osborne, former NFL player, Nebraska Congressman and head football coach for the University of Nebraska spoke at Concordia Monday evening in an event sponsored by the Phi Beta Lambda club.

Students and faculty at Concordia as well as community members attended the talk “Leadership and Ethics.”

Osborne reflected on his career and what he has learned from others and from himself during that time. He shared light-hearted jokes and anecdotes from different areas of his career as both a head football coach and politician.

Osborne also discussed three types of leadership: laissez faire, transactional and transformational, the last being his main focus during the presentation.

“The emphasis isn’t on the bottom line, it’s on the principles associated with it,” Osborne said. “Principles trump everything else, they are what guide you.”

Osborne also spoke on the subject of integrity and its importance in a person’s life and the leadership roles they decide to fill.

“Integrity consists of two things: telling the truth…and keeping your promises,” Osborne said. “Where there is integrity, there will be trust.”

At the end of his presentation, Osborne discussed the spiritual dimension of his life. He shared with the audience that before each football game, he would pray for each of his players by name, as well as the opposing side, and he prayed that each game would honor God in some way or form. He also commended the openness of religion on the Concordia campus, pointing out the place religion can have in leadership roles.

“You don’t have to tap-dance around religion here at Concordia,” Osborne said.

Osborne now runs a mentoring program called TeamMates that he founded in 1991 with his wife Nancy.

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