Co-CEO Sitima Fowler with Peyton Manning
I got an once in a lifetime opportunity to meet Peyton Manning, both a champion on the football field and in life. Although I am not a big sports follower, I have been following Peyton since I helped my son do a book report on him 8 years ago. I admire him for his success-minded winning habits then and now. Although one might question what Peyton could possibly teach professional leaders how to better our businesses, there was plenty of relevancy within Peyton’s talking points on how to be the best at what you do.
He listed 4 qualities he believes are necessary to be the best: Ability, Strong work ethic, Passion and Accountability. These could easily be the core values for any business that hasn’t formally adopted any yet. My favorite amongst these as he described them was Passion. Love what you do so much that you’d still do it for free. I agree 100% and have always chosen jobs by this rule. It’s brought me happiness and satisfaction despite any other factors impacting my life.
In addition, Peyton spoke extensively about preparedness. Over-preparing can beat your competition even if they might run faster or throw farther. Preparation relieves pressure. Prepare by knowing your teammates assignments as well as your own. With preparation you only get better, without preparing you only get worse.
As a leader Peyton learned that respect is earned, not given. He shared a story of humility that we all could relate to where being in charge didn’t mean that his teammates would listen. Leadership isn’t handed to you with a title. It’s the ability to influence others and earn their trust. When you treat others like professionals, they won’t want to let you down. Leaders stay calm to keep their team calm. They walk in their teammates’ shoes. They start early and stay late.
Peyton’s most direct piece of advice was to never get comfortable because the competition is always trying to catch up. Keep the edge, lead the team, and when you face a challenge do so with a good attitude. Learn to play a new way and be flexible with trying new systems. Ultimately you’ll move the chains down the field.
Peyton has had injuries that could have ended his career, but his positive attitude kept bringing him back. He overcame adversities by adapting and learning new skills. He wants to win and he is willing to put the prep work needed to outsmart his opponents. His perseverance and adaptation has inspired me to work just as hard to be the best for my clients, my staff and my loved ones.
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