The Leadership Lesson from The Super Bowl

16-8-9-SB-Sweeps-Insider-1360x775As the Super Bowl went into overtime and the Patriots took the lead and won the Vince Lombardi Trophy, my husband looked over at me and did not say “Wow, that was amazing!” Nor did he say “Pass the chips.” Instead he said, accusingly, “You’re going to blog about this, aren’t you?” Too obvious a theme, a team comes back from behind, way behind. This #momentum that Tom Brady talked about after the game – so cliché.

“Don’t do it,” he implored.  Here I am defying my husband once again, so inspired was I by the Audi commercial on female empowerment. And by Lady Gaga, who is not afraid of heights or face glitter. That this was the first overtime in Super Bowl history and that the millions who tuned in were watching the greatest quarterback in NFL history were overshadowed, for me, by the incredible determination that the Patriots showed in the last minutes of the game.

Most of us are part of a team that has had good days and bad days.  We’ve experienced pressure and defeat and we’ve also enjoyed our share of victories.  We’ve been put in positions where we’ve had to inspire our colleagues to soldier on, even when we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.  We have our game-time playbook and have had to adjust it in real time. While the Falcons played hard, the Patriots played harder when it mattered most.  That’s a lesson for the times, for these times.  Aside from grit, skill and leadership, possessing just a few more plays over your competitor is what every leader needs to be thinking about.

“We all brought each other back,” Brady said in a post-game interview. “We never felt out of it. It was a tough battle. They have a great team. I give them a lot of credit. We just made a few more plays than them.”

-- Diane Schwartz