There comes a time in every leader’s career when they are finally given a chance to shine.  They must take advantage of it because you never know if you will get another chance.  The legendary head coach John Wooden once said, “When opportunity presents itself it’s too late to prepare.”

New England Patriots 3rd-year quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has given us a wonderful template for what successful preparation looks like.  With Tom Brady serving his four-game suspension, Garoppolo has led the team to a 2-0 start.

Over a year ago, August 31st, 2015 to be exact, Sports Illustrated writer Greg Bedard profiled the Eastern Illinois graduate.  As I read his article I gleaned the following 9 Lessons On Preparation Leaders Can Learn From Jimmy Garoppolo:

  1. Successful Preparation Starts As Early As Possible – Garoppolo enlisted former NFL quarterback Jack Christensen as his personal quarterback coach as a sophomore in HIGH SCHOOL.
  2. Successful Preparation Results In Acquiring Great Skill – There are traits all great quarterbacks seem to possess.  The most common is they make the game look easy.
  3. Successful Preparation Gives You Time To Continually Improve – Garoppolo had identified areas in which he could improve – handling pressure, mechanical breakdowns, decision-making.
  4. Successful Preparation Allows You To Learn Your Craft – No one follows an incompetent leader.  Being smart means you have done the hard work of increasing your knowledge.  Knowing what to do when you get on the field matters.  It shows you care about others because their livelihood often depends on you.  Increasing intelligence is critical.
  5. Successful Preparation Requires A Strong Work Ethic – No one follows a lazy leader either.  Garoppolo has also been praised by teammates and coaches for his stellar work ethic.
  6. Successful Preparation Requires A Plan – There is an old saying in football – plays are more important than players.  In church work, we say, “Systems are more important than silver bullets.”  Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels have found the right balance between the team’s strengths and those of Garoppolo.
  7. Successful Preparation Allows You to Seize Opportunity – There is a difference between sensing opportunity and seizing it.  Once Garoppolo got his chance, he took advantage of it. Against the Arizona Cardinals he completed 24 for 33 passes for 264 yards and one touchdown.  One week later against the Miami Dolphins he was even better.  In less than two quarters he completed 18 of 27 passes for 234 yards and three touchdowns.
  8. Stay Humble – If Garoppolo was not already humble, because of the Patriots’s culture he soon will be.  After the Arizona win, wide receiver Julian Edelman told Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, “It’s one game.  We just gotta put this one behind us.”
  9. A Leader’s Greatest Abilities Are Their Availability And Durability – Preparation does you no good if you are not available to your teammates.  Unfortunately, it took less than six quarters for Garoppolo to get injured.  Hopefully, he can get back on the field before Brady returns.

What is one lesson from Jimmy Garopplo can you learn to improve your leadership?


To learn from Jeff Henderson, Matt Chandler, Dr. Charles Stanley, Dr. Crawford Loritts and Lysa TerKeurst among others, sign up today for September 28th’s FREE online Amplify event.  Make sure you sign up TODAY by clicking HERE or on the image to the left.  This event will make you a better preacher and communicator.


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