Packers great Willie Davis passed awayÂ thisÂ weekÂ at the age of 85 of kidney failure. In honor of the Packers Hall of Famer and localÂ businessman, we've updated this 2012 piece of writer Steve Jagler's memories andÂ takeaways from Davis' book and life.Â
"Hard work. Dedication. And the mindset that failure is not an option."
That is how former Green Bay Packers great Willie Davis answered a question about the secrets behind his post-football career as a successful executive in the beer distributing and radio businesses.
Davis was fielding questions at a Milwaukee Press Club Newsmaker Luncheon in the fall of 2012, where he was promoting his then-recently completed autobiography, "Willie Davis: Closing the Gap." The subtitle of the book was "Lombardi, The Packers Dynasty and the Pursuit of Excellence."
Davis, of course, was an All-Pro defensive lineman for Coach Vince Lombardi's Packer championship teams during the 1960s.
For the past 30-plus years, Milwaukee had been a focal point of Davis' life. He owned a residence in Milwaukee and maintained a strong local presence through ownership of radio stations 1290 WMCS, 102.1WLUM-FM and WLDB-FM 93.3.
A quick scan of his book recounts lessons learned from the legendary coach and how Davis applied them later in life to his business career.
One of the striking themes of the book is the vision Davis had for his career after football.
As a player at the peak of his game in 1963, Davis enrolled at the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business to earn his master's degree in business administration with an emphasis on marketing.
"If there was one player on the team who truly appreciated my pursuit of a degree, it was Bart Starr," Davis wrote in the book. "Bart, as kind as he was, never once took part in giving me grief. Instead, he talked to me about the struggles of school and encouraged me to stick with it, telling me that what I was doing was inspirational. I was scared but excited. Going back to school ma…Read more...