Posted by: everynation | February 21, 2007

Shift Culture

by Garry Senna

Garry Senna

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus (Phil. 2:5)

In reflecting upon this scripture I am always reminded of how true this principle of values driven leadership really is. Be it a business, church, family, or classroom they all end of reflecting the values of its leader. In getting swept up into the Super Bowl hype I came across this article about Tony Dungy the Coach of the Colts, “In praising [Lovie] Smith, who like [Herm] Edwards was on Dungy’s staff when he coached the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, for not using profanity and intimidation as coaching techniques, Dungy could have been speaking about himself. He was also speaking about a vision he has for coaching that is far removed from the style of [Bill] Bellichek and his mentor, Bill Parcells.

“I really wanted to show people you can win all kinds of ways,” Dungy said yesterday. “I always coached the way I’ve wanted to be coached. For guys to have success where it maybe goes against the grain, against the culture. … I know I probably didn’t get a couple of jobs in my career because people could not see my personality or the way I was going to do it.”

“One guy did ask me in an interview, ‘If you get this job, is this going to be the most important thing in your life? Are you going to treat my team as the very most important thing?’ I said, ‘No, I’m not.’ ” Dungy laughed at the memory. “I didn’t think I was going to get that job, and I didn’t,” he said. “For your faith to be more important than your job, for your family to be more important than your job, it’s things we all talk about, we all know that’s the way it should be, but we’re afraid to say that sometimes.”

Dungy has been able to shape his football culture by realizing that values and culture are established and set from the top down. He is a wonderful example of modeling what Paul was conveying in scripture.

May we model Christ and his attitude in our culture and may we experience a culture shift as a result of our obedience.

Garry Senna is an avid mountain biker and the senior pastor of Harvest Valley Christian Church in Pleasanton, California.



  1. go garry! keep on blogging, my friend.
    ps: sorry your hometown raiders were so sorry this year. and last year. and the year berfore.

  2. Wow! Clearly a man who knew his priorities. You can’t have everything! And between trophies and family – I choose family. Thanks Gary.

  3. Steve you comment was very offensive to me. I am not ,never have been, and by God’s grace will never be a Raiders fan. The inclusion of the word your in the same sentence as the Raiders demands a formal apology from you to me :) I forgive you in advance out of Christian duty!

  4. WOW you americans are always fighting over sports SMILE. It is a great story Garry I will sahre it with a lawyer friend of mine who is struggeling with the corruption he has to deal with in his job every day.

  5. “In praising. . . for not using profanity and intimidation as coaching techniques. . .you can win all kinds of ways. . .” Might as well win with class, it pays the same and people like you better. Insecurity causes one to lead like others instead of leading from your own strengths.

  6. Thanks for your insights, Garry. I’m glad there are good people and good coaches like Tony Dungy out there. While having breakfast at McDonald’s this morning, I overheard a man at the table next to me berating and belittling one of his sales people for more than 20 minutes. After telling her “If you can’t follow — get out of the way!” he concluded by telling her, “I have my family — I don’t need friends and I don’t need to be friends with my staff…” I wanted to smack him… (don’t worry, I didn’t!)

  7. Garry — Now I remember, you are actually a Giants fan – at least for the first 8 innings. I officially apologize for accusing you of being a Raider fan and beg your forgiveness.

  8. Steve – forgiveness granted and I will gladly bear the blame for leaving the giants game early; my only regret was that the three extra hours we would have been stuck in SF would well have been worth it instead of the countless hours of discussion of who actually provoked us to leave :)

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