James Franklin is a workaholic. This much is known. But the depths of his obsession have not been aptly explained until Franklin uttered this quote to USA Today’s Paul Myerberg: “My greatest strength is my passion and my drive,” said Franklin. “My greatest weakness is my passion and my drive.” That, of course, is the stereotypical job interview answer to the impossible-to-answer question of “What’s your greatness weakness?”, expect with Franklin it’s actually true.
“I do know that I struggle because there’s things that I want to do or want done a certain or whatever it may be, and it’s that fine line of how much do I keep pushing and how much do I have to kind of stop myself,” Franklin said of himself. “I think there’s that constant battle that I struggle with about how much I’m pushing, and I don’t want to push so much that I wear everybody out and drive everybody crazy.”
“My personality is ‘do more,’ and that’s not always the answer, to do more. I’m constantly in internal conflict with that. And the staff kind of knows that’s who I am as well, so they help manage that.”
Myerberg profiled Franklin as the new Penn State coach takes his meet-and-greet tour around the Northeast. With his family still in Nashville until July, Franklin has no counterbalance to his work-driven life, which results in four straight months of pulling two office couches together as a makeshift bed.
Some other highlights:
– On attention to detail: “Being successful is doing the little things better than everyone else. That’s kind of my answer for everything. I’m not the most talented guy out there. But something I can control is outworking and out-preparing everyone.”
– On his staff being known as good coaches, and not just good recruiters: “I get concerned a little bit when people say, ‘Oh, they’re just good recruiters.’ It’s not one thing or another. I hope over time that people just say, ‘They’re good coaches.’ And good coaches are good recruiters, good developers, good Xs and Os, good schemes, the whole package. Because the most successful programs, they do it all well. It’s not just one thing. It’s the whole organization.”