Leadership Lessons from Two All-time Greats

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning first squared off against each other back in September 2001. That’s an especially long time ago in football years. Today, they meet for the seventeenth time as two of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play in the National Football League.

Brady, the quarterback for the New England Patriots, has won four Super Bowls and is chasing a fifth, a feat never accomplished by a starting quarterback. Manning is the quarterback for the Denver Broncos. He has won just one Super Bowl, but has won five league MVP awards and holds the all-time record for passing yards and touchdowns.

Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning

Brady and Manning, while both incredibly accomplished, are very different players and personalities. Manning’s success as a pro was considered a sure thing, which made him the number one pick in the NFL draft. While intensely competitive, he shows a lighter side in the many humorous commercials in which he appears. Brady was a 6th round draft pick and many questioned whether he could be an NFL quarterback. He has of course proven his doubters wrong, but he still performs with an intensity that seems to be his way of continuously reminding those doubters just how wrong they were.

Tom Brady

Tom Brady

Each has flourished in his own way. The one thing they have in common, though, is that each has an incredible work ethic. Their preparation is focused and intense. They spend hours studying film to be fully prepared for what they may see from the opponent. They stay after practice to work with receivers on timing and accuracy. They expect as much, or more, from themselves as they do anyone else on the team.

As leaders, high expectations and hard work are important for our success. Like Brady and Manning, we need to have high expectations of ourselves, and we need to model the work ethic we want from our teams. When we hold ourselves to a high standard and work hard to achieve our goals, we can have success equal to Brady and Manning, two of the greatest to ever play the game.

Thanks for reading,


P.S. – Follow me on Twitter, @jvearle. And please share my blog with others who are passionate about leadership and positivity, jvearle.wordpress.com



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