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The Chiefs learn a lot of lessons from picking up trash

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Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Once again, the Kansas City Chiefs are learning lessons from picking up trash on the ground.

Chiefs president Mark Donovan spoke on leadership at KU on Wednesday and shared this story (via LJ World):

Further, Donovan said he's learned that even the smallest actions of leadership are powerful. Donovan told a story of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and his fan experience team's tour of Arrowhead stadium when Goodell stopped mid-tour to pick up a piece of trash on the ground and throw it away. Donovan later asked Goodell about it and learned a valuable lesson.

"Roger told me, ‘If I stop and pick up that trash, what does it teach my team? Part of leading by example is being aware,'" Donovan said. "That was the first time I learned that those little things you do as a leader have a great impact."

Does that sound familiar? It should because it's very similar to "the candy wrapper story" that Chiefs fans still make jokes about to this day. Via Kent Babb's 2012 Arrowhead Anxiety story:

During his first year, Pioli noticed a candy wrapper in a back stairwell and waited to see how long it took to be picked up. About a week passed, and it remained in the stairwell. He placed the wrapper in an envelope, and during a meeting of department heads, Donovan, then the team's chief operating officer, brandished the wrapper as evidence of the attention to detail that Chiefs employees had grown to ignore.

"A great coaching moment," Donovan said.