All leaders want to achieve peak performance and we want those on our teams to achieve peak performance as well.  It is not a question of desire.  It is a question of process and execution.  How do you do it?

One week after this year’s Super Bowl, Sports Illustrated writer Peter King traveled to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s Montana hideaway searching for answers on the topic.  Brady had just engineered the largest comeback in Super Bowl history and is now generally considered the best quarterback who has ever played the game.

King’s incredible two-part interview with the legendary quarterback can be heard on the MMQB podcast by clicking HERE.

As I listened to the interview, the following are 10 Steps To Achieving Peak Performance I gleaned from their time together.  All quotes are from Brady.

  1. Peak Performers Eliminate Outside Noise.  They Do Not Get Bogged Down In Pettiness. – “When you subject yourself to a lot of criticism, what I’ve learned from myself is, I don’t want to give my power away to other people by letting my own emotions be subjected to what their thoughts or opinions are.”
  2. Peak Performers Focus On What They Can Control – “There is only one fight I can win, and that is how well I play.”
  3. Peak Performers Are Incurably Optimistic – “I’m a very positive person.”
  4. Peak Performers Love The Process Of Getting Better – “Other than playing football, the other thing I love to do is prepare to play football.”
  5. Peak Performers Are Experts At Their Craft – “I have the answers to the test now (after playing over 200 games).  You can’t surprise me on defense.  I’ve seen it all.”
  6. Peak Performers Put Focused Energy On The Things That Matter – “Strength is very important to (my) job.  But how much strength do you need?  You only need the strength to withstand the hits and throw the ball and make your movements as a quarterback.”
  7. Peak Performers Are Durable, Reliable, Resilient And Always Available – “You need conditioning because you need to be able to do that over a period of time, certainly a season.  You need muscle pliability – long, soft muscles – in order to be durable.”
  8. Peak Performers Take Care Of Their Bodies.  If It Fails You Lose Everything. – “It’s going to be really hard for me to have a muscle injury, based on the health of my muscle tissue and the way I try to take care of it.  Your muscle and your body allow you play this great sport.”
  9. Peak Performers Make The Right Choices – “It’s about making the right choices.  It’s not more effort.  Everyone puts in effort.  Everyone wants to do the right thing.  They just don’t know what it is.”
  10. Peak Performers Continually Produce Superior Results On The Biggest Stages – In the last three seasons, Brady has a record of 42-10 with two Super Bowl victories.  During that same time, he has thrown 117 touchdown passes with only 27 interceptions.

What is one lesson from Brady you learned that can make you a better leader?


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