It was arguably one of the most touching Hall of Fame acceptance speeches in the history of the event.
Brett Favre’s speech at his induction into the Football Hall of Fame, like his playing record, was one for the record books. Yes, it was longer than most, but it was also packed with leadership lessons.
If you have ever wondered what makes someone excel to the top of their game, he provided the formula. It not only applies to football…it applies to business and life as well.
Here are the lessons from his speech.
He was quick to note his faith as the foundation for his life. We all need a solid foundation and a set of core values. When decisions must be made, you need to have a solid belief system and the principles on which to base those decisions.
This was a very strong contributing factor in Brett Favre’s success. He noted the contrast between his mother and his father. His father didn’t put him down in such a way as to break his spirit and confidence, but he also did not make it easy for him. He consistently pushed Brett to take the good and make it better. Brett told about the time he overheard his father talking with other coaches about Brett’s recent plays. His father said, “Give him a chance. He will redeem himself.” His father’s faith in him – and in his ability to redeem himself – pushed him all the way to the Hall of Fame.
His mother and mother-in-law were his best cheerleaders and provided the encouragement he needed to keep on, no matter what. They were his advocates and strongest supporters.
He told stories about his wife, who was with him since high school. Through good times and tough times, she was always by his side. Strong in her own right, they served to strengthen each other in the face of adversity, as iron sharpens iron.
He told about his siblings, his first competitors and now his best friends.
And he told about his children and grandchildren – his legacy.
The lesson in all of this is that we all need these people in our lives:
- Those who push us higher and farther than we ever dreamed possible.
- Those who pull for us, no matter what.
- Those who walk with us and don’t let us quit.
- Those who compete with us to make us stronger.
- And those who follow us – who give us a reason for being.
Brett then went on to pay homage to his teammates, his close friends, and his coaches. The fact is, we all need a team, and we all need mentors in order to reach our ultimate potential. He is smart enough to know that his success, though pursued with a vengeance, would never have happened without his team and coaches.
Whether or not you are a Packers fan, you can’t deny that much of the energy for his success was fed by the cheers of the crowd. And when playing against Oakland after the death of his father, he acknowledged that the respect and honor from the Raider fans helped carry him through the infamous game. In business, you work to build an audience – you work to grow your customer base. And if you play well, that audience and those customers will provide the energy you need to stay in the game.
These leadership lessons are golden.
As a leader, assess the 4F’s in your life and business. Do you have all these elements in place? If you did not have the support Brett had growing up, find it now. The more you can fill in the gaps, the more your level of success will grow.
And then ask yourself if you are leading your team with these 4F’s in mind. Are you helping your team members gain these levels of support in the work that they do?