In The Huddle with Fran Tarkenton

We Can’t Do It Alone

The most important thing in life is the value of relationships. Whether you’re talking about business, football, or family, or anything else for that matter, it’s relationships, relationships, relationships. Without great relationships, nothing gets done—and we see the proof of that every day!

But I want to talk about what it takes to build a great relationship. To start, you have to treat people with respect. And that means everybody, not just the people you like or the people who are on your team, or the people who you think are important and can do something for you. Everybody means everybody.

You can learn a lot about somebody by how they treat people they don’t think they can get something from. When I go out to a restaurant with a friend or business associate, how do they treat people? How do they treat the waiters, the hostesses? Are they rude, and not treating them with any respect? If so, that’s a sign that this person’s values don’t match with mine, and they don’t have the respect for others that you need to build strong, lasting relationships. I don’t go out with those people again.

The next key is honesty and transparency. That means telling people the truth, the best you know it—even if it’s not what they want to hear. Giving people what they want to hear instead of the truth is a recipe for disaster. Bad news does not get better with age! When I ask someone for an opinion, it’s because I want to know what they think. I don’t want them to automatically agree with me; I want people who will challenge me and push me to defend my thinking and get it right. And if they ask me for my opinion, I’m going to tell them exactly what I believe, because glossing over the truth to protect their feelings is not a sign of respect. People who ignore bad news and avoid honest debate will never solve our problems, whether that’s in business, politics, or any other area of life.

To be successful, we can’t do it alone. We need to do it together. We need to build relationships with people, whether they agree with us or can respectfully and honestly disagree. That’s how we find solutions, through relationships built on trust.

Here at AMAC, we are honest and transparent about what’s happening in this country and what we ought to do about it. That’s the kind of community we can be proud to be a part of. Tell everyone you know to join the conversation and create an even more powerful, impactful community for seniors here with AMAC!

If You Enjoy Articles Like This - Subscribe to the AMAC Daily Newsletter!

Sign Up Today
Read more articles by Fran Tarkenton

Leave a Reply

6 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
6 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Mark Terry

I always admired Fran’s ability to play football, especially his “scrambling” when it appeared he was a dead duck, but he got away from the linemen who wanted to do him harm. I guess we now know that he must have been a great football player because of his brains.


Fran Tarkenton is one of my childhood heroes, and I subscribe to his stated reasoning in almost all of my daily interactions. However, I am not going to follow his advice when it comes to liberals. I believe that liberals have done more damage to this country than Muslim extremists. Most liberals operate solely on emotion and are unable to reason logically, so it does no good to reason with them. I will attack liberals and their stupidity with harsh words every chance I get. Moreover, I foresee a coming war with liberals and train weekly (using rigorous exercise, martial arts, and arms training) for that war. The day will come when conservatives have to fight liberals to save this country and the Constitution, and this military veteran wants to be a part of that battle.

Ivan Berry

Michael Connelly has a character named Heronimus (Harry) Bosch in his detective fiction that expresses it this way:
“Everybody counts or nobody counts.” That’s my credo as well. Thanks Fran.


Some folks can’t handle the truth. They would rather be flattered by a charming phony talker. How else could Obama get to be president?

Donald LaVigne

What a great article! It’s just too bad our elected officials in DC and, even locally, can’t find common ground to solve some of the major problems we’re facing today.

John H.

Fran Tarkenton:
You get it right, again and again. Core values and rules to follow on and off the field. I love your articles