I see that the NFL has two major issues to resolve.
- The one at hand-dealing with off field violence and crime within the player ranks.
- The coming issue of how NFL players are three times more likely to die from neurodegenerative diseases than the general US population and four times more likely to die from Alzheimer’s disease and (ALS).
While NFL Commissioner Goodell must address #1 now, if he were smart he would also be working to resolve #2 proactively before he sees himself in a media firestorm yet again. And, if I were Gary Bettman (NHL Commissioner), Dana White (UFC President), or the head of any other hard hitting sport such as boxing, rugby or wrestling, I would be looking at these two issues closely now to get ahead.
The best leaders are proactive. They create policies, plans, and action them before they need to. The NFL has failed in this regard. While I applaud the work they are doing now to deal with future cases of domestic violence, one gets the sense they are only doing the right thing because of public outcry and fear of sponsorship loss.
Other leaders have a chance now to build strong public relations by being proactive. They should make public what their associations will and will not tolerate, communicate their player “code of conduct,” and clearly state what they are doing to protect both the players from brain injury and their families from violence at home.
While your business might not be dealing with such enormous issues such as domestic violence and brain injury, you can learn from the NFL. Ask yourself:
- What competitive issues do you need to deal with in advance?
- What product or buying trends do you need to capitalize on?
- What regulatory, societal or environmental challenges could derail or destroy you?
Once you have identified current or potential issues you can set about to resolve or mitigate them now. Ignoring challenges now does not make them go away. It only ensures you will have to deal with them under pressure and when you have no choice. Why wait until then?
By bringing your challenges to the forefront, you can deal with them on your terms and within your own time frame. Doing so will reduce their negative impact and create leverage that can be propelled to growth.
One response to “Leadership Lessons from the NFL”
I first joined this Life Assurance Industry in 1974 and I have been part time for 20 years. I became full time in 1992. Since then, I must say, that I have not achieved anything great. Have also not done my MDRT. Maybe, I have not been guided properly. Bearing in mind I want to do my MDRT next year itself and having just only three months to reach my goal, how can you quickly help me achieve this goal. I will willing to follow your guidance with a 100% compliance! how can you help me.
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I now look forward to hearing from you soon.
GOPALAKRISHNAN GOVINDASAMY PJK, MJF, AMTC
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