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Tom Brady on Accountability and Leadership

May 19, 2010

This week was a great week to launch this site, and I love that I can immediately connect it to sports, another one of my passions.  I tweeted last Tuesday about Hank Haney’s resignation from the Tiger camp, and last Wednesday about a Tom Brady interview I heard on the radio.  I love that sports can teach us so much about leadership.  Brady was questioned about the amount of work it takes to be successful, to stay ahead of the competition, and what last year’s team was lacking.  Brady, for all the success he’s had, the records he’s set, the championships he’s won…still holds himself accountable as a leader for the team’s failures.  He was recently quoted by Sports Illustrated as saying that the team has “got to start listening more to coach [Bill] Belichick…We’ve got the best football coach of all time. He’s got the answers. We as a team have to take the teaching and the coaching we’re being given.”  The radio hosts asked him, “Were there just guys out there, teammates, who were ignoring your coach, trying to do it their way…?”

Brady elaborated on his answer, that Belichick would share the gameplan and focuses for that week’s specific opponent, “This is what we need to do to win,” and if the team lost, he would point out where they failed to execute the specific plan.  Brady said, “Me included!  There’s games where [the Patriots are playing against] a turnover driven team, we can’t have turnovers…and of course I go out there on the first drive and fumble the ball.  I always include myself; I’m at the top of the list.  I’ve got to have a great season in order to be productive, along with everyone else…but the only person I can really control is myself.”

I think Tom Brady is a great leader, as is his coach, because they both lead by example.  They are two of the hardest-working people in an industry full of hard-working people.  I have a Belichick quote at my desk, “The price for success is always paid in advance,” and I believe in that approach.  As a Patriots fan, I’ve read enough about Brady and Belichick to convince me that they would be great GILD speakers, if only it didn’t fall in the middle of football season.  Think they’d take a week off to join us?

By the way – more on Hank Haney, whom I’ve spoken to and garnered quite a bit of respect for, coming soon.

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