FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS TO SUPER BOWL XLI
Ben Utecht’s football career started just south of Saint Paul, in Hastings, Minnesota. The young Utecht spent hours tossing the ball with his father in the backyard of the congregation where the senior Utecht was a pastor. He went on to play for the Hastings Raiders, became a star captain for the Minnesota Gophers, and eventually earned the title of Super Bowl Champion with the Indianapolis Colts.
Now a highly sought-after leadership and culture expert, Utecht speaks regularly to national audiences, applying lessons learned in Hall of Famer Tony Dungy’s locker room and on-field huddles with Peyton Manning. “It changed me and the way I look at leadership. It went beyond being just a game, but a way to improve the human condition,” explains Utecht.
With the Indianapolis Colts, under Dungy’s leadership, the focus was on building better men, who in turn became better football players. Utecht adds, “For me, this philosophy has permeated into all aspects of my work. Every person I come into contact with is a human being. And each person has a profound, intrinsic value that cannot, and should not, be overlooked.”
“When we start to look at people’s lives through that lens, it changes how we treat each other. It changes how we lead. It promotes a leadership platform of love over fear. It fosters creativity over negativity and promotes trust, loyalty, high performance, and sustainability.”