4th and Goal With the Game on the Line: Will They Turn to YOU?

For the last 16 years of my life I haven’t experienced a fall without football.  With the end of my career in sight, and the New York Giants not knocking on my door, it is time for me to look back at what lessons and valuable tools this incredible game has taught me over time.  I believe football has shaped me to become who I am today and that I am better because of it.  The memories of incredible games and grueling practices will always be there, but it is the lessons and skills I learned that will stick with me for a lifetime.e1607536d7b86ef30acf6d74ef0e5be6  The skills and lessons that I found most prevalent in my years of football were in leadership.  Leadership, is something many people are naturally born with and it may come easy to them.  Now, there is a difference between a leader and a manager, but both need to be efficient and effective with their leadership skills.  I believe in some ways that I am a natural born leader, but football helped me to open my eyes as to what true leadership is about and what it takes to be a great leader.  Now you may ask, if I’ve never played football how does this relate to me?  Well, it is the principles of leadership and management in football that anyone and everyone can understand in the business world and that I took away from my experiences in the game.

As a Human Resources Management major, I strive to learn all that I can about leadership and team building and I believe that all managers should educate themselves as to what it takes to be a great leader.  One major connection between leadership and football, is that in order for you and the others around you to grow, you must be comfortable with being uncomfortable.  This is pushing yourself beyond your limits and breaking out of your comfort zone.  As a leader, helping your employees push past their comfort zone not only helps them to grow but can also propel your business forward.  A team that has shared adversity and can feel comfortable being uncomfortable together is a team that cannot be beat.  They have a stronger connection with each other due to the pressures they have faced together.  Taking that principle into the business world can only mean success in an extremely competitive global market.

Change-Leadership  I have found throughout my football life that talent is very valuable, the best players play and often help the team succeed to a certain extent.  While talent is needed to a degree, it is great leadership and teamwork that enable reliable performances at the highest level possible.  I have been on teams with one or two outstanding players but have lost every game; this goes to show that without a well led cohesive unit, great things cannot be accomplished.   Those individuals who can bring a team together while focusing on their employees best interests as well as the interests of their organizations will achieve a championship season.

The last lesson that I will surely take away with me after I leave football is one that I wish I knew a long time ago.  You don’t rise to the occasion, you fall back on your training.  As a great leader, one should help their employees to follow and understand such a motto because of what it does for their own personal performance.  When crunch time comes, and someone is on the big stage, (whatever it may be), they will not just suddenly be prepared, it is what they have been taught by their leader and how they have prepared that will make them successful.

6618fa80d350ebe3090faea447d04553By helping employees break past their comfort zone and showing them that you care for their personal growth, you will encourage them to want to work harder.  A strong team can accomplish anything they put their mind to if they are led by someone who knows how to maximize the talent that they have by pushing the team past their comfort zone and excelling them forward.  What will you do to become the most effective leader possible?  I know that when I do eventually lead that I will use the lessons and skills I have learned throughout my football career to most effectively bring my team to the next level.  Managers and leaders can be found everywhere, but great and effective leaders come scarce.

 

Alex Madoian

Bryant University Class of 2017

 

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