11 Leadership Principles Heading Into The NFL Draft

I LOVE the NFL Draft.  Forget the Masters and March Madness, the NFL Draft is the best, most compelling multi-day sports event on television.  Peter King, the great Sports Illustrated writer, has been providing draft news and insights leading up to next week’s event.
I think there are some great leadership insights we can take from King’s thoughts.
  1. Leaders Are Results Oriented – “Kevin Kolb’s 26. He’s a coach’s son. He’s had some struggles running the Eagles offense in his seven career starts, but I saw him ruin the soon-to-be Super Bowl champion Saints with a 391-yard strafing in 2009; he played well enough to rout the playoff-bound Falcons and throw for 326 yards last season.”
  2. Leaders Look Through A Different Lens – “That’s the fun of the draft,” Marvin Lewis said. “Sometimes we as teams all look at things slightly differently.”
  3. Leaders Have High Capacity (big catching radius) – “A.J. Green has demonstrated acrobatic catching ability. They both have a big catching radius. Julio Jones has been a tenacious blocker. The question is, what do you value most?”
  4. Leaders Prioritize – “After God and family, in whatever order you have them, if football’s not next on your list of life priorities, then I don’t want you.” – Mike Mayock
  5. Leaders Initiate And Embrace Change – “There are younger GMs who don’t necessarily think the way the veteran guys do. A solid player might be picked higher than normal now, even if he’s not at the traditionally more valuable position.’ – Mayock
  6. Leaders Strategically Utilize Information – “You know why you’re not hearing about him? Because the teams that like him are hiding their interest,”  scout on Illini DT Corey Liuget
  7. Leaders Value Production – In his last two seasons at TCU, Andy Dalton was a 64-percent passer with 50 touchdowns and 14 picks. He ran a sophisticated offense with lots of decisions made on the run. 
  8. Leaders Don’t Confuse Activity With Accomplishment – “You realize he completed only 38 percent of his throws 15 yards [and farther] downfield? And he was only 44 percent on third down, with six touchdowns and five interceptions? You know what Andrew Luck was on third down last year? Seventy-one percent.”  – Mel Kiper on Blaine Gabbert 
  9. Leaders Are Passionate – “You better love football here,” Matt Hasselbeck told me about Pete Carroll’s regime last season. Mallett does.” 
  10. Cam Newton Is A Leader – “The first day here [in the offseason] they were all lifting, going after it hard. When it was over, they all thought it was done. But Cam, who doesn’t even know these guys yet, says, ‘I’m gonna be out there throwing if anyone wants to come.’ Five or six go out. The next day, 10 or 15 are out with him. He comes in and says to me, ‘Coach, you got five or six pass plays from our playbook you could draw up? We’re going out there and we want to run some of our plays.’ I said, “Wooooooo.’ Then, later in the week, I see him out there running the stadium stairs, and a couple days later, he’s got a bunch of guys out there with him. A natural leader, a strong, strong leader. Charismatic.” – offensive coordinator and quarterback coach of Blinn Junior College, Ronny Feldman
  11. Leaders Provide Security – “There’s no Sam Bradford or Matt Ryan in this draft. There’s no quarterback who, after you draft him, you’re going to sleep easy at night.” – ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay
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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 “11 Leadership Principles Heading Into The NFL Draft”

  1. I love the NFL draft also. It is a great time of optimism. Each General Manager and coach gush to reporters on why they chose this player and what impact they seem him making on the team. I have put this practice to use in my leadership. When offer someone a position on our team, I lay out why we believe they are gifted to contribute and the impact we can make together. Leaders paint a picture for their players/followers to contribute.

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