Last week, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning set the National Football League record for most touchdown passes in a career. His 509th career touchdown pass helped him break the record held by Brett Favre. This is certainly an impressive accomplishment. But it’s even more impressive when you consider that just three years ago there were doubts about whether Peyton Manning would play football again. Manning had not missed a game in his 14 years in the league, but after two neck surgeries, he sat out the entire 2011 season. He was released by the Indianapolis Colts, the team he had played for his entire career, and was searching for a new team. Manning joined the Denver Broncos and immediately continued his pursuit of the all-time touchdown record.
Manning is more than just a touchdown tosser. He is a Super Bowl champion and Most Valuable Player; he is a 13 time pro-bowl selection; he is a 5 time NFL MVP; he is the 2013 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year. He will go down in history as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.
One of the things that makes Peyton Manning so successful is his commitment to practice and preparation. Manning is known as a hard worker who studies film relentlessly to get ready for upcoming games. On this topic, Manning once said, “I’ve never left the field saying, ‘I could have done more to get ready,’ and that gives me peace of mind.”
Can you say this about your preparation? Have you done everything you can to get ready for the presentation, the test, or the meeting? There are times we will get knocked down, and even fail. This is part of life. But we can hold our heads high and be proud if we know we tried our hardest. This story reminds me of what my mom would say before most of my tests in school. To calm my nerves about the upcoming test, she would always say, “Just do your best. If you study your hardest and do the best you can, your Dad and I will be proud.”
As leaders, we need to model this type of preparation and work ethic. We need to show our team members that we must practice and prepare in order to succeed. But we also need to be courageous enough to say “it’s okay to fail; it’s okay to take risks; as long as you do everything you can to prepare, you can be proud and hold your head high.” Or as Peyton Manning would say, when you could have done nothing more to get ready, you can have peace of mind.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. – Check out my website at http://www.jvearle.com and keep me in mind if you hear of any opportunities to share my thoughts on leadership.