Leadership Qualities of Nine Football Greats

Leadership Qualities Football

1-Peyton Manning: Agility on the FlyPeyton Manning: Agility on the Fly

Famous for shifting plays and entire personnel formations on the line of scrimmage, once he sizes up what the competition is trying to do.

2-Vince Lombardi: Commitment to FundamentalsVince Lombardi: Commitment to Fundamentals

He perfected the simple yet potent “power sweep”—and built strategies from there.

3-Tom Brady: Work EthicTom Brady: Work Ethic

Demonstrates how intense preparation can overcome any perceived limitations. (He was only a sixth-round draft pick in 2000.)

4-Joe Gibbs: Adaptability to TalentJoe Gibbs: Adaptability to Talent

Got the best out of a variety of talents and “types,” like the free-spirited John Riggins, winning three Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks.

5-Eli Manning: Ability to Filter Out Eli Manning: Ability to Filter Out “Noise”

Manning shrugs off tabloid criticism and just wins. His unflappable manner led the Giants to two of the Super Bowl’s most historic upset wins.

6-Bill Walsh: Passion for InnovationBill Walsh: Passion for Innovation

Considered a pioneering strategist of modern football, he routinely “scripted” the first two-dozen plays of every game.

7-Larry Fitzgerald: Well-Grounded and Globally ConnectedLarry Fitzgerald: Well-Grounded and Globally Connected

During the off-season, Fitzgerald takes fellow players to places like Africa and Ethiopia to support outreach efforts.

8-Johnny Unitas: PerseveranceJohnny Unitas: Perseverance

Cut in his rookie year, he had to play semi-pro ball for $6 a game before getting a shot with the Colts—and launching a Hall of Fame career.

9-Joe Montana: Calm (and Humor) Under PressureJoe Montana: Calm (and Humor) Under Pressure

Trailing late in Super Bowl XXIII, he looked to the stands during the huddle and said, “Hey, isn’t that John Candy?” Then he led his team on a championship-winning drive.

Dennis McCafferty
Dennis McCafferty
Dennis McCafferty is a contributor to CIO Insight. He covers topics such as IT leadership, IT strategy, collaboration, and IT for businesses.

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