Manning & Newton – Lessons In Leadership

Franking quote on reputation #reputation #character #quote

While it maybe unfair, it is leadership

A leader’s good reputation is not built by an individual, impressive moment, but rather by consistent and consecutive impressive moments. It is these moments that frame who we believe our leader to be; it is these moments that filter our perception, and if a leader has stayed true to who he said he is, and who we believe him to be, then we are willing to follow and defend him.

But what happens when a leader, who has had so many consistent moments of greatness, has a moment of failure? Our society and culture today are those of extremes, we acquit or execute all before the trial. However, that is the price of leadership. Right or wrong a leader’s hard-fought reputation is undone with a single action. Just look at both Cam Newton and Peyton Manning for examples.

All year long Cam Newton was a one man highlight reel. Giving children touch down footballs, having a different dance or handshake for each task accomplished, or even his victorious “dab.” The media couldn’t get enough of him, and fans ate up every moment of his flash and swagger. Cam Newton’s Panthers stroll to Super Bowl 50 with a regular season record of 15 and 1, and have the NFL’s most electrifying offense, one the Media has dubbed, Cam’s offense. And then the unthinkable happens, the man who has a dance for every occasion is left with out a reason to boogie. For most fan’s outside of the Carolina’s, they’re OK with that. Cam is a young quarterback and has plenty of time to win the big game – and Manning gets to go out, presumably, on top. Fast forward through all of the confetti and awkward Bud references to the post game interviews. Cam, who has been all smiles all season, has no reason to smile. He has lost. He came ever so close, and lost. Bombarded with questions about his decisions through out the game and why his team couldn’t win, Cam just gets up, announces he is done, and walks out. In this moment, every dance move, every football tossed to a kid, and every smile flashed after a game are all forgotten. Cam’s inability to “Man Up” and face the hard questions have now defined his entire season.

The other Super Bowl 50 quarterback had a different post game experience. Peyton Manning, thought of as one of the classiest players in the NFL lived up to that expectation. Every reporter who spoke with Manning as soon as the game was finished asked the same question: “are you going to retire,” and rather than make that moment about him and his legacy, Manning politely excused the question and put the focus back on his Denver Bronco team mates. It wasn’t until a week after Super Bowl 50 that an allegation against Peyton Manning, while he was in college that had seemingly been buried, started to resurface. Allegations of sexual abuse, slander, lying, and bullying – all from the NFL’s perfect Peyton. No one is asking if Manning will retire, the only question anyone is asking is “can this be true?” “is this really our Peyton Manning?”

Whether a public moment for all of the world to see at the end of your season, or a private moment at the beginning of your career – all it takes is one moment to tarnish the reputation you spent a season, or even a career, building.



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Sq1 Leadership Quote: Helen Keller

Can you see what no one else can see? That's vision!

Can you see what no one else can see? That’s vision!

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Lessons in Leadership: Sterling & Silver

Higher = More Visible

Higher = More Visible

There is a direct correlation between a leader’s level in an organization and his visibility. The further “up” you are, the more visible you become. 

This may seem like a common sense statement, but some leaders do not either realize how far this visibility goes, or they forget.

When Adam Silver, the commissioner of the NBA, announced that Donald Sterling, the owner of the LA Clippers basketball team, was banned for life from the LA Clippers and essentially the NBA, this truth was extremely evident!

In a tape released by TMZ, Donald Sterling was recorded by an ex-girlfriend, expressing racist remarks and points of view. Here is the thing, these remarks were made in a private phone call! Just because he said these things in private  doesn’t mean that they would not be exposed. A leader’s visibility is not determined by what he says or does in public, it is determined by what he says and does period!

Commissioner Silver understood this truth when deciding Sterling’s punishment. He knew America was watching, and he knew that what ever he decided, it would be seen, heard, and picked apart by all. While Silver’s words and actions were public and Sterling’s were in private, a leader can never underestimate the power of their visibility no matter where they are!

What are some other examples you’ve seen concerning a leader’s visibility?

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Marine Corps. Leadership: Seek and Take Responsibility

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

It has been said, that if you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got. But I want to alter it slightly. If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always be what you’ve always been. You can’t ever be more than what you are currently if you don’t expand yourself beyond what you are currently doing.

What is more, if we are not expanding ourselves, it is safe to assume that our subordinates are not either. People will mirror what they see, not what they hear. We must take time to look beyond where we are, and what we are currently doing to ask the question, where do I want to go, and what do I need to do to get there? Once we identify those tasks, those responsibilities, we must take action.

When we take those actions, when we stretch ourselves to make our team or organization better, we will be able to encourage those  we lead to follow our example as we coach them through the process.

3 Checkpoints To Taking Greater Responsibility:

1. Learn what is next – If you were to grow, or move forward what would it take to successfully exist there? Like wise, if you were to promote a subordinate, what would it take for them to succeed in that position?  If they wait to learn  that once they get there, it will be too late.

2. Partner with a subordinate on a task – While this seems minimal, it serves a greater purpose than the accomplishment of the task. This exercise will help you see how the subordinate works, and how you can better lead and coach them. Like wise, have your high performers do this with piers to hone their leadership skills.

3. Push for excellence – As leaders, if we cannot excel in what we are currently doing, what makes us think that we will excel in the future? The bad or disruptive habits we have now will still exist in the future, unless we do something about them now. If you have a subordinate who excels in what they do currently, rather than promoting them and giving them a whole new set of responsibilities, give them a portion of that position to see how they would handle it.

What are some other checkpoints towards greater responsibility? 

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