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On December 27, 2012, Heath Miller was voted the Most Valuable Player on the Steelers football team by his teammates. It is the first time in the history of the Steelers' team history that a tight end received this recognition. Miller didn't win this title because of one or two spectacular plays, but because of what he did on every play during the season.
Heath's position as "Tight End" is not one of the more glorious positions in football; they aren't typically making the huge runs or long catches. However, their role on the field is critical in creating opportunities for the team to score. If you watch Heath at work (the football field) you notice he has 5 personal traits that are likely the reason his co-workers voted him MVP. Follow Heath's example and you may end up being your workplace's MVP someday as well!
1. Heath works hard.
Many people think they work hard, but "working hard" is a relative term. It is much different to be recognized by others as a hard worker, particularly when you stand out among other professionals praised for their competitiveness and hard work. Heath's teammate Bret Keisel said, “He’s just one of the greatest guys ever, one of the most competitive guys ever, one of those pros who’s always doing his job. That’s why we all love and respect him because of the way he carries himself, the way he comes to work. I told him he’s one of the few guys that I really look up to.”
2. Heath produces.
Simply put, Heath gets the job done. Need a 320 pounds defensive player blocked? Heath will block him. Need a pass caught on between two defenders? You can count on Heath. Heath goes to work understanding what he must produce individually so that the team can succeed. Heath is quick to take responsibility, slow to accept any praise, and never makes excuses. In the rare times that Heath has not completed a play he immediately takes corrective action so that he comes back stronger and smarter so that the team continues to thrive.
3. Heath is humble.
Someone else got a first down or scored points? Heath will be one of the first players there to congratulate him. Heath scored? Don't look for him in the end zone celebrating. You will find him on the bench studying and preparing the next set of plays. Even missing his own MVP celebration event, Heath is well-known for this humility. He avoids the distraction of attention and applause, preferring to train and study for the next game. His teammate Troy Polamalu says, "Heath is humble in its purest form. He’s just a naturally humble guy who from the outside doesn’t look like he struggles with it.”
4. Heath does not complain.
Even professional football players can find something to complain about at work. It is too windy or cold, too hot, the other teammates aren't performing, the quarterback won't throw to me often enough, the defenders are taking cheap shots, the coaches aren't listening, etc. Want to know what's wrong with the team, individual players, or even the league? Don't ask Heath. You will find him studying and preparing the next play or next game, and he will not have one negative comment for you.
5. Heath is a team player.
Surely, one reason Heath was voted team MVP is the amount of effort he puts into making his teammates look good. Play after play for the Steelers' offense involves selfless acts by Heath. That means he gives his absolute best effort in creating opportunities for his teammates to score. Cameras will immediately zoom in on the player who scored, but if you look closely there is Heath congratulating his teammate, and yet another frustrated defensive player who Heath prevented from stopping the team's scoring drive.
Want to be the Most Valuable Player at work? Remember that it was Heath Miller's humility, work ethic, professionalism, avoidance of the spotlight, and his focus on helping others succeed at work that ultimately attracted the highest recognition from the people he works with.