Leadership Insights

Get Email Updates

8 Leadership Lessons from Tom Brady

February 2, 2012

Why Tom Brady?  Let us explain, Linkage is a global company, with offices in over 17 different countries, but our headquarters is in Burlington, Massachusetts, just 32 miles from Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots.  We will admit it—that makes some of us a bit biased when it comes to football.






Photo Credit: Bleacher Report

There have been a number of blogs posts recently that talk about leadership lessons from Tim Tebow. We think that it is time to talk about Tom Brady.  What makes Brady great (besides chasing down a few Joe Montana records, having 2 Super Bowl MVP titles and attending 7 Pro Bowls)? Brady knows how to lead his team to victory and how to handle defeat. How does he do it?

1. Work hard – After Chad Ochocinco joined the team, he tweeted “Every … single … day. That’s what it’s like around here. Everybody is pushing for perfection and they’re pushing hard. I’ve never seen anything like it in my whole career. You understand why this team is where it is. Tom is on you about the littlest things, that you were a step off where you should be or the angle is wrong or whatever it is.”

2. Take control, but don’t take over – Brady knows how to control a field and motivate a team, but he also knows to let others do their job.  He knows that football is a team sport and that everyone who works hard—and earns it—should get the credit.

3. Keep calm – Brady was caught napping a half-hour prior to the 2001 Super Bowl. “Regardless of the predictions, Brady was so calm before the big game that he took a nap in the locker room. “When I woke up,” Brady explained to Dave Kindred of The Sporting News*, “I told myself it’s a football game. It just comes down to playing football. I felt calm and confident.” While we don’t suggest napping on the job—we do suggest knowing what you need to do to keep yourself calm and in control.

4. Admit your mistakes – Did you watch the award portion of The Patriots/Ravens game on January 22nd?  When Tom Brady was asked how it felt to bring his team to its fifth Super Bowl in 10 years, he replied “Well, I sucked tonight, but the Defense…” Brady is confident enough to say that he messed up. Your team will appreciate hearing you admit that you are human and mistakes happen.

5. Recognize and leverage high-potential talent – Wes Welker. Rob Gronkowski. Brady looks to the people who can get it done on the field and leverages their talent. In turn, the touchdowns get scored and the records are broken.

6. Communicate – Brady is known for recognizing defenses before a snap, adjusting the play, and communicating the change to the entire team in rapid succession, all before the play even begins. Football doesn’t work if you don’t communicate and neither does business.

7. Know your competition–Tom Brady studies his competition, his team, and himself to make sure that he knows the details inside and out before walking into a game.

8. Make time for your priorities – Maybe the most important of them all.  When Brady is on the field, it is game time, but he also knows that the time he spends off the field with his family is just as important.


* Source: Notablebiographies.com

Smiling woman writes on whiteboard with marker

Advancing Women Leaders Academy

A 9-module, on-site learning experience that seeks to equip women with actionable steps and practices to address the barriers that impede their advancement in the workplace, including the Inner Critic.

Posted In


Enrich Your inbox

with timely, relevant leadership insights

Join more than 15,000 others and subscribe to Linkage Leadership Insights: your resource for leadership development-related topics that matter to you, from change and transition management to innovation to coaching and more.

Related Posts

All Insights

Start Your Journey

Speak with a Linkage expert today