Leadership Lessons On Patience Learned From Green Bay Packer QB Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers led Green Bay to victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV, six seasons after leaving Cal (right) as a projected top five pick, only to drop to the Packers at No. 24. He spent three seasons as Brett Favre's backup before taking the reigns in Green Bay.

Aaron Rodgers has always had to wait for his moment to shine…until now.  Rodgers understood, however, that learning how to properly leverage delayed gratification is part of becoming a champion.  Notice his journey:

  • Not offered a scholarship coming out of high school.
  • Played at Butte Community College for two years.
  • After two stellar seasons at Cal, was passed over by the San Francisco 49ers who drafted Alex Smith.
  • Had to wait in the green room at the NFL Draft as the nation watched…and watched….and watched until he was finally selected by Green Bay with the 24th pick.
  • Backed up the legendary Brett Favre for three years.

And then he got his chance.

Rodgers made the most of his waiting time.  The USA Today quotes NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as saying “We have a Super Bowl MVP that represents the best in the game, the best of people who play the game.  He’s a great young man.  He really does things right and he’s a terrific person to have involved in the NFL.”

We live in an era of instant gratification.  If we are in business, we want to be like Mark Zuckerberg and be a billionaire while in our 20s.  If we are a pastor, we want a Mega church within two years.  College athletes are promised playing time as a freshman.  Patience is no longer a virtue.  The quest and need for immediate results has made long-term development virtually extinct.

But then along comes Aaron Rodgers and reminds us that leaders are made daily, not in a day.

As I look back on my life, the best things that have happened to me I had to wait for.  Waiting has done the following:

  1. Taught me that delayed gratification is ultimately greater and more fulfilling than immediate gratification.
  2. Allowed me time to mature as a person.
  3. Allowed me to develop the skills needed for positions that I would one day hold.
  4. Avoid making bad choices that at the time were expedient.
  5. Learn contentment and faithfulness.
  6. Develop a hunger to achieve my potential.
  7. To be protected from unforeseen events and circumstances.
  8. Value the principle of compounding.
  9. Appreciate authority and its role in my life.
  10. The self-confidence of knowing that when opportunity does present itself, I have been prepared for that platform.

I’m no different from anyone else.  I don’t like waiting and at the time, never appreciate its value in my life.  Waiting is only appreciated and valued looking back.

It is true that food simply tastes better coming out crockpot than a microwave

Leaders, next time you are frustrated because promotions and opportunities are not happening as quickly as you would like, remember Aaron Rodgers and know that you are being prepared for great days ahead. 

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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.

2 Responses to “Leadership Lessons On Patience Learned From Green Bay Packer QB Aaron Rodgers”

  1. I just read your related post with 15 leadership quotes by Rodgers.

    Even though I’m a Steelers fan I am happy for the year, and the Super Bowl, Rodgers had. I’ve also played Fantasy Football for 3 years and Rodgers has been my fantasy QB for the last two years.

    Good stuff!

    • Randy,

      Thanks for the reply. I hope you’re in a keeper league and can retain Rodgers services in 2011. Also, I’m a huge fan of the Steeler organization. Total class from top to bottom. Last month I wrote a column on What Church and Business Leaders Can Learn About Success From The Pittsburgh Steelers. You can check it out at http://wp.me/pVReH-MN.

      Hey, it’s great connecting with you. I hope you visit again and comment often.


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