Dear Reader:

Do you ever wonder about how much of your own destiny you really control?

If you are like most people, this question crosses your mind quite often.

Well, no matter what your situation, the answer is simple.

The truth is: When it comes to your destiny, you control more than you think!

No matter what your industry or marketplace, my messages of team alignment, preparation, and focus can help you get to the next level. I would love to share these messages at your team's next leadership gathering.

Consider my story. My father is Charlie Pittman. Together, we  are still living out a Grand Experiment that continues to  reinforce the core principles that have allowed us to achieve success in the sports world and in the business world. This  so-called "experiment" was conceived back in the 1960s when legendary coach Joe Paterno took over as the head football coach at Penn State University. As part of Paterno's vision for building a top-tier football program that truly embodied his core  vision, "Success with Honor," he targeted talented players who aimed to succeed both on and off the football field.

My father was one of Paterno's first marquee recruits. He started 31 games for Paterno at running back, and he led both the 1968 and 1969 teams to undefeated records. Twenty five years later, I started at cornerback for a 1994 team that also went undefeated. Combined, our record stands at 45-0-1 as starters. But, more importantly, we also lived up to our end of the experiment off of the field. Not only do we stand as the only undefeated father/son combination, but we are also the only  father and son to earn First Team Academic All-America status. Additionally, we went on to successful runs at companies such as IBM, Knight Ridder, and Hewlett Packard. This is what Coach Paterno's experiment is all about.

Those results were not achieved without some healthy doses of good fortune. Yes, we worked hard. But, we were also lucky enough to play with great teammates at a truly outstanding university. However, such results would not have been possible had we not embraced our own sense of destiny.

In order to begin to take control of your destiny, you have to get some critical factors in line. What kind of organization do you want to be a part of? What vision are you pursuing? How do your efforts align with others, and if you're in a leadership role, how are you ensuring that your team is aligned for peak performance? Whether you want to achieve outstanding results in sports or in business, you need to be focused on getting these things right.

Finally, always remember that it is not where you are starting from, but where you are aiming to go, that matters. My father was the first of our lineage to go to college when he began his Penn State career. As for me, I ended up turning down Harvard, Yale, and Princeton to become a Nittany Lion. Though we entered the Grand Experiment very differently, we both ended up seeing where destiny was guiding us. Along the way, there were many opportunities to quit. We both considered it; but, in the end, we stayed focused and committed. We hung on to the vision.

You can do the same.

Tony Pittman

A message for all groups