244: Thomas R. Williams Podcast

April 22, 2022

In today’s episode of the ‘Finding your Summit’ podcast, host Mark Pattison, former NFL Player, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, and Mountaineer who has climbed the Seven Summits, talks with guest, Thomas R. Williams, Professional Speaker, NFL Player Engagement Ambassador, and Philanthropist. He talks about his journey as an athlete and shares his take on mentorship.

Episode Highlights

  • 02:19 – Mark inquires: what did that experience at USC do for you in terms of helping you become the man you are today in terms of being a great leader?
  • 04:04 – Thomas states, after being redshirted, what he learned is that—is this really what you want? And if it’s really what you want, you’re going to be put to the test, and you have to find out what are you willing to sacrifice to get what you never had.
  • 06:52 – Thomas says that when he got drafted, about 15 minutes after his name got called, he walked into his mom’s bedroom and took a second for himself and he was like, wow, this is it.
  • 08:22 – Mark says that Thomas and he had similar careers—both five years in the NFL.
  • 10:55 – Thomas states that he looks at mentor and mentorship in the same boat. And so, there are three parts of it; there’s an above, there’s a side and there’s a below.
  • 15:51 – Mark mentions not being insecure about your own station of life.
  • 17:20 – Thomas points out that had he not experienced the feeling of neglect or abandonment by his dad, he would have never fallen in love with the game and the game would have never given him the life lessons that it gave him.
  • 19:15 – Thomas says that his leadership lessons, principles, and stories don’t come from what he read in a book. This is his experience with a principle and a story, and this is how it applies to one’s life.
  • 23:00 – Thomas discusses his relationship with his father.
  • 26:28 – It was Simon Bailey who says “we give the world the best of us and we give the family the rest of us” —and Thomas is trying to flip that on its head every single day.
  • 28:00 – On the weekend, Thomas and his daughter go to the coffee shop, she gets her banana muffin, he gets his coffee and they just sit and talk.
  • 30:02 – Thomas mentions that his first book Permission to Dream was a 2014 release. So, he started in 2012 and wanted to give himself a goal for the football season.
  • 32:58 – Once he was ready to acknowledge it and admitted that he was able to write it, and once he was able to write it, it just flowed, says Thomas.
  • 33:42 – Mark states that if you don’t have everybody paddling in the same direction, with the same kind of energy, you don’t get very far.
  • 36:04 – Thomas’ speaking coach (John) said to him: “Most people focus on the fruit, they neglect the root and the tree dies. Focus on the root. The tree will grow and you’ll have more and more fruit.”

Three Key Points

  1. Collage image with mountainous background displaying Finding Your Summit logo, episode number and photos of both Mark Pattison and Thomas R. WilliamsThomas explains going from playing that one or two plays a game, to starting 10 games in his entire career at USC, and then getting drafted and fulfilling his dream of becoming a professional athlete at 23. In this whole journey, what he finds out is that it’s not necessarily about what we get on the journey to where we’re going, but it’s about what we become.
  2. Once we accomplished something, it’s that confidence we get from accomplishing exactly what we set out to do. When we get that type of confidence, we’re different human beings—we don’t need validation from the outside world. We don’t need a social media post, a compliment, or a comment. What we need to do is reflect and look in the mirror and say “Look at what we’ve done. Look at what we were able to accomplish and look at what we pushed through to get there.” And once we can say that, then we have the confidence that exudes and now we can pour into other people.
  3. This is about being intentional about what we want and then asking for what we want, because people or the universe or God will give it to us. But if we don’t know what we want, then we can’t ask and then we won’t get it.

Tweetable Quotes

No other special teams’ player at USC had that type of a following of that fan base because I gave that one play with everything that I possibly had.” – Thomas R. Williams

I transformed from the mindset of ‘this is what I have to do’ to ‘this is what I get to do’.” – Thomas R. Williams

There’s a big obstacle for everybody. Anybody lucky enough to get drafted—it’s one thing to get picked and then that’s another thing to stay there.” – Mark Pattison

It’s a really hard thing to achieve greatness yet if you’re not willing to sacrifice some go through the cost.” – Mark Pattison

Are you willing to do what it takes to get to the other side?” – Mark Pattison

Everybody is a pro in the NFL, but everybody isn’t a pro when it comes to their work.” – Thomas R. Williams

Who you surround yourself with is who you ultimately become—good, bad, or indifferent.” – Thomas R. Williams

What I talk about mentorship is that those people, who are above you, trickle down to you. That’s why you always find people not who give you great advice but give you great examples.” – Thomas R. Williams

Not do as I say not as I do; do as I say because of what I’ve done.” – Thomas R. Williams

My dad didn’t show up for me when I wanted him to show up. But he showed up for me when I needed him to show up.” – Thomas R. Williams

The only thing I ever wanted my father to give me was his time.” – Thomas R. Williams

I gave myself a goal to write a book.” – Thomas R. Williams


Resources Mentioned

Thomas R. Williams: Website

Mark Pattison YouTube Channel


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