12 Leadership Lessons From Brett Favre’s Final Days

As a player, I am a HUGE Brett Favre fan.  I have never seen a professional athlete compete with the level of fun and passion that he has during his career.  That’s why this past season with the Minnesota Vikings has been so tough for everyone to watch, myself included.

Leaders, in particular, should watch Brett with a warning label that says “Caution”.  The sobering reality is that in our areas of discipline it could easily be us that one day becomes painful to watch.  People will say “Thanks.  We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you” as they usher out the door with your pictures and awards in a cardboard box.  The following  are reasons why that sometimes happens:

  1. Technology passes us by.  We don’t stay up-to-date.
  2. Younger people can often be simply bigger,stronger, faster, and sometimes smarter than we are.
  3. We don’t prepare like we once did. 
  4. We think “we’ve heard all of this before”.
  5. We think what made us successful yesterday will make us successful tomorrow.
  6. New leadership comes onboard and has a different vision for us than we do.
  7. As we grow older, younger people sometimes think we’re out of date…and they may be right.
  8. We dismiss younger people because of their appearance, habits, and inexperience to our ultimate demise. 
  9. Our message becomes stale.
  10. We just simply do not change.

What saddens me the most about Brett is that he stayed too long because he simply loved the game too much.  He’s what we all want to be – a passionate individual who gave it all they had.  The reality though is the game doesn’t care if you love it.  If you want to give the game everything you got, the game will gladly take it….and leave you in a heap as pictured above.

Is it also possible that sometimes people stay too long because they have nowhere else to go.  They are simply out-of-options and will ride it out as long as they can.

Here is what I’ve learned from Brett’s final season.

  1. There is a life-cycle to everything.
  2. Serve under leadership that brings out the best in you and values you.  Brett did not have that with Brad Childress.
  3. Talent can take you to a place where character cannot sustain you.
  4. People often do not recognize greatness when they see it.  
  5. Place family above your career.  When the game is finally done with you, it will be your family that will be waiting on you to come home.
  6. What your family thinks of you is more important than what others think of you.
  7. The older you get the harder you have to work to stay relevant.
  8. Irrelevance is one of our natural default modes.  We have to fight against it.
  9. The question is never are you part of an organization’s past?  The question is are you part of an organization’s future?
  10. Always have options.
  11. History will always remember the joyous, the passionate, the energetic, the creative, the smiling, and the champions very fondly.
  12. We are not owners of our career, merely renters.  Handle it with care and leave your position and organization better than you found it.

Brett, you did that.  You gave us plenty of fun Sundays and great memories.  You owe us nothing.  You left us a better game than you found.  You do, however, owe something to Deanna and your family.  

Leaders, Brett’s game was football.  What’s yours and are you ready to leave when the game is done with you?

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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.

One Response to “12 Leadership Lessons From Brett Favre’s Final Days”

  1. LaurianaZ 12 #Leadership Lessons From Brett Favre’s Final Days http://dld.bz/DxDA by @BrianKDodd -> Great thoughts on one’s #career too. #

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