Terminal Cancer Isn’t Distracting Super Bowl Coach Bruce DeHaven

Would you show up for work if you knew you were dying of cancer?

Special team’s coach Bruce DeHaven of the Carolina Panthers didn’t miss a practice all season, even though he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, before the football season began.

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Perhaps, if you needed the money, you would show up till the bitter end. But, it’s love, not money that’s motivating coach DeHaven. When asked why he’s still coaching, Bruce said,

“In the end, I wanted to coach. I just love coaching.”

Fulfillment is found in “want to,” never “have to.”


The Beatles were right when they sang, “I don’t care too much for money, for money can’t buy me love.” Fear might force compliance, but performance rooted in love can’t be bought.

  1. Love – for something outside yourself – makes you remarkable. Coach DeHaven doesn’t like talking about his cancer. “It should be about those guys and everything they have done,” speaking of his players.
  2. Love lifts a job from work to calling.
  3. Love inspires. Hatred might motivate action, but love ignites your soul.

Love is expressed when you serve the best interests of others.

Where is your love:

You find your purpose when you love.

  1. How are you serving the best interest of your organization, product, or service?
  2. What do you love about your work?
  3. What do you love about serving your team?

Everyone does things they don’t love. Never allow things you don’t love to overshadow things you love. Focus on things you love, even when you’re doing things you don’t.

Where is their love:

  1. Ask your teammates the same “love questions” I encouraged you to ask yourself.
  2. What would you do, even if you didn’t have to?
  3. What would you do for free?

Give your heart, if you expect those around you to give theirs.

What prevents leaders from leveraging the power of love?

How might leaders help teammates connect with things they love?

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