The Leadership Of Peyton Manning Part 5

Matthew 13:5-8 “Some (seed) fell on stony places…some fell among thorns…But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop.”

Soil is important. For most things to grow in a healthy manner, it needs the proper environment. The 5th question leaders must deal with in increasing their capacity is the Environmental Questions which asks “Does My Organization Provide The Environment For My Capacity To Increase?”

I recently saw the great movie The Blind Side. You can’t watch that movie without noticing the impact of the Touhy and how their family functioned on Michael Oher. They provided stability, security, hope, and direction that helped change a young man’s life. As you look at the career of Peyton Manning and many other high capacity quarterbacks, you notice an amazing level of organizational stability.

Dan Marino played for Don Shula from 1983 through 1995. John Elway played from 1983 through 1998 and played for only Dan Reeves and Mike Shanahan. Roger Staubach played all his 11 seasons with Tom Landry. Terry Bradshaw played all his 14 seasons with Chuck Noll. Joe Montana played for 10 seasons under Bill Walsh.

And that brings us to Peyton Manning. Bill Polian has been the Colts’ GM his entire career. Peyton played his first 4 seasons for Head Coach Jim Mora and the following 7 seasons under Tony Dungy. Current Head Coach Jim Caldwell has been with the team since 2002. His Offensive Coordinator for his entire 12-year career has been Tom Moore. Jeff Saturday has been his center for 11 years. Marvin Harrison lined up at wide receiver for him for 11 years. Reggie Wayne has been his other (now #1) receiver for 9 years. Dallas Clark has been his tight end for 7 years. Peyton’s, and all the previous QBs mentioned, careers have been marked by organizational stability. To expand your capacity to the level that high achievement takes place, you must be in an organization that is marked by stability and consistent excellence.

A stable organization is marked by the following:

  1. There is a leadership culture that is defined by winning. John Maxwell says that when you’re winning, nothing hurts. That’s the Law of Momentum. Momentum is the fuel the expands capacity. It makes you think you can accomplish more than you currently are and that you can be better than you currently are. Winning becomes addictive. It makes growth fun. You put in more preparation time and expect to accomplish great things. And it’s just plain awesome when this happens in the context of community and team. Losing doesn’t do that. It might make you hungrier, might, but it doesn’t increase capacity.
  2. There is low turnover of personnel. You cannot increase capacity when you continually start over. I am saddened by churches who are constantly looking for a new pastor. It takes between 5-7 years for a pastor’s vision to begin to take root and become reality. You must get “your people” in place and it takes awhile for the congregation to have the vision become part of their DNA. When a pastor is replaced after 3 years for example, you must start the process all over again and you’ve arguably lost 3 years. The pastor loses because he has to start all over somewhere new. The church loses because they will be in an interim situation for at least 6-12 months and then they start the 5 year process all over again. The community the church is in loses because there is a decreased level of impact in their town. Everyone loses with constant turnover.
  3. There are consistent practices and behavior. All successful organizations in sports, church, business, and all of life have a consistent message from the owner, to the front office, to the coaching staff, to the coach on the field. Whether it’s a quarterback, middle linebacker, point guard, catcher, top salesman, or an executive, every organization has a coach on the field. In Indianapolis, there’s no doubt who it is. As Tony Dungy said of Peyton and his new receivers The new guys will fit in. He’ll make them fit in.” Now ask yourself, who is your coach on the field and does he/she not only share, but actually multiply your values and your message and refuse to lose?
  4. There is long-term player development. Dungy states “Once a player joins our team, our priority is to teach him, not worry about the player we didn’t select.” Quality organizations identify and select team members that fit their system and develop them over time. Reggie Wayne did not become Peyton’s #1 option until about year 7. Marvin Harrison carried the load while Wayne was given time to develop. I can expand my capacity if my organization is structured in such a way that gives me time to do so. Too many of us are driven by month-end or year-end results. While that is certainly important, it must be balanced because capacity is only expanded by bookkeepers in that type of organization.
  5. There is security. The feeling experienced by the highest percentage of people is insecurity. I think that is just a result of the dysfunctional families most of us are growing up in. You can’t have the most important people in your life leave home when you’re a child and not always have some concern that those in positions of authority in your life will always have a tendency to do that. Also, people just perform better when they have been adequately equipped to fulfill their responsibilities and are not constantly looking over their shoulder. You’re going to have a wreck if you’re constantly looking in the rear view mirror. The best thing any organization can do is create an environment, primarily through mission, relationships, and compensation, that with proper performance you will always be here. That environment of stability will be the foundation that capacity builds on.

This has been a fun post to write. I have spent five posts discussing the subject of personal development. The next post will center on The Flight Question which asks “Do I Help Others Soar Higher?”


About Brian Dodd on Leadership

I am a church stewardship and leadership consultant for INJOY Stewardship Solutions. This blog combines my personal passions of church, sports, pop culture and family into a single leadership resource. I trust your time on this site will create conversations and add value to your life.

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