On Thursday evening, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning had the finest night of his illustrious career.  Facing the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, Manning was 27-of-42 for 462 yards with a record-tying seven touchdown passes.  In addition, he had no interceptions and an astounding quarterback rating of 141.1.

The question all leaders should ask is how did he do it and are there lessons which are replicable in our church, sports team, business, or non-profit?  As I analyzed Manning’s performance, I gleaned 7 leadership lessons, one for each touchdown pass, that all leaders can apply to achieve maximum success.

The quotes were taken from post-game interviews taken by the USA Today.  You can read the full article by clicking here.

  1. You Never Have To Recover From A Good Start – Unfortunately, Manning had to overcome a poor start.  Denver was forced to punt on its first three series.
  2. Great Leaders Upgrade The Talent Around Them – During the off-season the team added perennial All-Pro Wes Welker along with unknown TE Julius Thomas.  Thomas hadn’t caught a pass in two years but caught two of Manning’s seven touchdown passes.
  3. Great Leaders Respond To Great Need – Manning said, “You never know what’s going to happen in a game. I felt like we had to keep scoring.”
  4. Great Leaders Expect To Perform With Excellence – Welker had an astute observation.  He said, “It’s a huge achievement, and he was just so nonchalant about doing seven touchdowns like it was nothing,”
  5. Great Leaders Honor The Past – So many inexperienced leaders mistakenly discount the contributions of the previous generation.  Manning has a great appreciation of NFL history realizing former Minnesota Viking Joe Kapp was one of the individuals whose record he tied.  He said, “Great Canadian quarterback out of Cal. Kicked the crap out of a guy on YouTube a couple of years ago, too.”
  6. Great Leaders Compensate For Others – Earlier we identified Manning’s need to continue scoring.  This comes from the loss of defensive players pass rusher Von Miller (suspension), Elvis Dumervil (free agency), and cornerback Champ Bailey (injury).
  7. Great Leaders Incorporate The Skills Of Many Talented People – Manning completed passes to seven different Broncos. Incorporating many people compensates for someone having an off day or month.  For instance, starting wideout Eric Decker had only two catches but star wideout Demaryius Thomas caught five passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns.

Start Well, Upgrade Talent, Respond To Great Need, Expect Excellence, Honor The Past, Compensate For Others, and Incorporate The Skills Of Many People.  If you practice these 7 habits, you too may lead with maximum effectiveness.


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