12 Leadership Lessons From Brett Favre’s Final Days
As a player, I am a HUGE Brett Favre fan.Â I have never seen a professional athlete compete with theÂ level of fun and passion that he hasÂ during his career.Â That’s why this past season with the Minnesota Vikings has been so tough for everyone to watch, myself included.
Leaders, in particular,Â should watch BrettÂ with a warning label that says “Caution”.Â The sobering reality is that in our areas ofÂ discipline it could easily be us that one dayÂ becomes painful to watch.Â Â People will say “Thanks.Â We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you” as they usher outÂ the door with your picturesÂ and awards in a cardboard box.Â Â The followingÂ are reasons why thatÂ sometimes happens:
- Technology passes us by.Â We don’t stay up-to-date.
- Younger peopleÂ can often be simply bigger,stronger, faster, and sometimes smarterÂ than we are.
- We don’t prepare like we once did.Â
- We think “we’ve heard all of this before”.
- We think what made us successful yesterday will make us successful tomorrow.
- New leadership comesÂ onboard and has a different vision forÂ us than we do.
- As we grow older, younger peopleÂ sometimesÂ think we’re out of date…and they may be right.
- We dismiss younger people because ofÂ their appearance, habits, and inexperience to our ultimate demise.Â
- Our message becomes stale.
- We just simply do not change.
What saddens me the most about Brett is that he stayed too long because he simply loved the game too much.Â He’s what we all want to be – a passionate individual who gave it all they had.Â The reality though is the game doesn’t care if you love it.Â If you want to give the game everything you got, the game will gladly take it….and leave you in a heap as pictured above.
Is it also possible that sometimes people stay too long because they have nowhere else to go.Â They are simply out-of-options and will ride it out as long as they can.
Here is what I’ve learned from Brett’sÂ final season.
- There is a life-cycle to everything.
- Serve under leadership that brings out the best in you and values you.Â Brett did not have that with Brad Childress.
- Talent can take you to a place where character cannot sustain you.
- People oftenÂ do not recognize greatness when they see it.Â Â
- Place family above your career.Â When the game is finally done with you,Â it will be yourÂ family thatÂ will beÂ waiting on youÂ to come home.
- What your family thinks of you is more important than what others think of you.
- The older you get the harder you have to work to stay relevant.
- Irrelevance is one of our natural default modes.Â We have to fight against it.
- The question is never are you part of an organization’s past?Â The question is are you part of an organization’s future?
- Always have options.
- History will always remember the joyous, the passionate, the energetic, the creative,Â the smiling, and the champions veryÂ fondly.
- We are not owners of our career, merely renters.Â Handle it with care and leave your position and organization better than you found it.
Brett, you did that.Â You gave us plenty of fun Sundays and great memories.Â You owe us nothing.Â You left us a better game than you found.Â You do, however, owe something toÂ Deanna andÂ your family.Â Â
Leaders, Brett’s game was football.Â What’s yours and are you ready to leave when the game is done with you?