The Leadership Of Peyton Manning Part 9

It has been a little over five months since my last post in this series.  To view all previous articles on this topic, go to the Categories section of this blog and select “Increasing Capacity”. 

Now that you are trusting your preparation and beginning to execute as a leader, it is time to visit The Coaching Question which asks “Do we evaluate our performance as a team?”

As I read Peter King’s article, I was struck by how many members of the Colts organization were involved in the evaluation of Austin Collie, starting in college and then during the start of his professional career.   Beginning in Colllie’s 2008 season, the Colts sent the following personnel at various times to evaluate the BYU wideout:

  • Director of Player Personnel Tom Telesco
  • Special Assistant Bob Ferguson
  • Area Scout John Becker

Also, after an initial evaluation, the team psychologist felt Collie’s bent towards perfectionism would be a good fit for star QB Peyton Manning.  After all this input, General Manager Bill Polian selected him in the fourth round making him the 19th wide receiver taken in the draft. 

There are several takeaways from the Colts evaluation of Austin Collie:

  1. He was drafted partly because he would be a good fit with the team’s star player.  Teams that are slump proof play to their strengths and staff appropriately.  Do you know who your star player is?  Are you surrounding him/her with the appropriate complimentary parts to ensure lasting success?
  2. Multiple evaluations were made by individuals at various levels of the organization.  This can only be done effectively when the cultural DNA permeates the entire staff.  Everyone knows what a “Colts player” looks like.
  3. Everyone’s opinion mattered.  Bill Polian gathers information before he makes a decision.  Not only did many individuals make evaluations, but Polian trusts his team and subsequently makes his decisions accordingly.
  4. The mental is as important as the physical.  Your organization has a certain mental DNA and cognitive approach to its delivery.  It is interesting to me that the most compelling argument for drafting Collie came from the team psychologist.  It is also ironic that it was Collie who then said “The difference between here and college is not the speed.  It’s the knowledge.”

Finally, player evaluation for the purpose of enhancing performance can only be a continual process when the star player buys in and is committed to it.  When Collie ran an incorrect route in week 8 against the San Francisco 49ers, Manning was quick to provide developmental feedback.  Collie even made note of Manning’s commitment to excellence during practice environments.  Manning has the unique ability to simply “will” his teammates to a higher level of performance.

To increase your capacity and slump proof your leadership, you need skilled and insightful people you trust to continually provide developmental feedback.  This will result in increased performance, both personally and as a team.

So I ask you, have you surrounded yourself with skillful people you trust?  Do you bring them in early during the decision process?  Do they have the freedom to provide open and transparent dialogue with you?  If you do not have a positive response to each of these questions, you will limit yourself as a leader and open yourself and the team up for seasons of poor performance.

This brings us to the final question of this series The Christ Question which simply asks “Am I reaching my full redemptive potential?” 

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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