I couldn’t help rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles last night, Nick Foles’ story is just amazing and who doesn’t love a great underdog story? As everyone by now knows, Foles almost walked away from football, he was discouraged, disappointed in his career – spending much of his time on the sideline. We all know how his story ends but the leadership lessons we can glean from it are a valuable reminder to all business owners.
- Perseverance. At the age of 26 he was going to call it quits, instead he took time to reflect and decided his story wasn’t over. He listened to those he respected, got away to unplug and then he put his head down and got to work. Anyone running a business has times when they want to call it quits, it’s hard sometimes too hard, but you need to suck it up, think and move forward. It’s what business owners (and quarterbacks) do.
- Teamwork. We don’t get where we are by ourselves. Just like Nick Foles’ Superbowl win is not his alone, your business is much more than just you. What are the skill sets the company needs? Pulling the right talent together is what makes a company unstoppable.
- Humility. Understanding that you didn’t get where you are a lone and acknowledging that whenever you get a chance is what will make your company great. Do you know what Nick Foles had to say after winning the Superbowl? “I think the big thing that helped me was knowing that I didn’t have to be Superman. I have amazing teammates, amazing coaches around me. And all I had to do was just go play as hard as I could, and play for one another, and play for those guys.”
- Adversity. Foles obviously didn’t have the career that people write books about, until now, but what he did have was the ability to see the bigger picture and tackle adversity as it came at him. He went up against Goliath and he won. The key to overcoming adversity is viewing it as a challenge, not an unsurmountable feat. Take it day-by-day, step-by-step and as always – never stop moving forward.
- Poise. When I was watching the game, it struck me how Foles approached each play with a sense of calm and calculation, he seemed completely unfazed. Leaders need to have the ability to approach difficult tasks with an analytical mindset, while taking the emotion out of the situation. This is something I work at every day, because the passion that founded our businesses cannot be how we make important decisions.
Sometimes, being the underdog isn’t a bad thing, people will count you out and underestimate you – let that drive you to work even harder at being the leader your company and industry need.