Tom Brady started out as a backup and after years of hard work emerged as a champion. In this episode, we're going to discuss what lessons we can learn from Tom Brady that you can apply to yourself and your business.
Robert: In this Stretch Goals Podcast quick hit, we’re going to talk about how to be the Tom Brady of your business. This is the Stretch Goals Podcast, where each week we’ll share insights and lessons learned based on our experiences as entrepreneurs. We’ll challenge you to create ambitious goals as you start and grow your business. I’m your host Robert Dickerson.
Scott: I’m Scott Davis.
Robert: What a Super Bowl. That was great, wasn’t it?
Scott: My goodness. I thought it was over at halftime. Actually I thought it was over in the first quarter, to be honest.
Robert: You can never count out Tom Brady.
Scott: No. You can’t count out perseverance.
Robert: Yeah. Tom Brady didn’t start out a star. People thought he was too slow. The coaches weren’t excited to play him at Michigan, because he’s not a flashy player, right? If you look at the NFL players, people really look at do they have the size, do they have the speed and quickness to be successful in the NFL, but what Tom Brady brings is these intangibles that you can’t necessarily measure unless you know him, unless you work with him over time. If you listen to all the players talk about him after the game and stuff, they just talk about how he’s so prepared for the games, how he watches film and studies the games. He really prepared for those opportunities when he could seize the moment and be successful. This Super Bowl is really just a culmination of that whole journey.
Scott: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Robert: I think it’s interesting that people want to jump on the bandwagon at the height of success, but they don’t necessarily want to go through the grind of getting there, right?
Robert: That’s really the parallel I wanted to draw to starting your own business is that there’s a lot of time in between when you first start out and that pinnacle of success, right?
Robert: That’s the grind, right? That’s the grind that we all live in, starting and growing our businesses. It’s the same with Tom Brady.
Scott: Yeah. Also look at it like this too. For a lot of players, winning the Super Bowl once is the pinnacle of their career, and Tom Brady’s now won what, five? Is it five Super Bowls?
Scott: He just kept on grinding. Yeah, it’s a great point. The dude’s, what, 39 years old? He wants to play until he’s 45. That’s unheard of in most sports, especially at quarterback, the number of hits you take. Yeah, he’s mastered the fundamentals, and that’s what sets him apart. Whether you like him or hate him, the fact is the guy is good. He just doesn’t give up, he’s got a great team around him. That team respects him and his abilities and his ability to lead and guide that team. A lot of that goes on Belichick and his ability to craft all of that around him, but he’s just a phenomenal, phenomenal athlete who’s mastered the fundamentals.
Robert: I think the benefit of the team and of Belichick’s contribution to create the system and the team really can’t be kind of overstated in this, because as you think about your business, it’s important to build your team, to get people on board that fit within that team. The culture that you build really helps drive you to success, and that can be paralleled in what Brady and Belichick are doing, because together they’re a great team. The system, Brady, together makes a championship team.
Robert: If you were to take the coach and put him on a different team, if you were to take Brady and put him on my beloved Redskins, it wouldn’t be the same, right? We would probably still lose as Redskins, even though we have Brady, because it’s the team and they system and the culture that’s been put in place that really helps drive that championship mentality.
Scott: Yeah, absolutely. That directly applies to business. If you look at Steve Jobs and his impact and dynamic at Apple, Bill Gates at Microsoft, these are all people who are kingpins within the company, but yet the dynamic and the company atmosphere is all really derived from them. If you pick them up and move them somewhere, it doesn’t work anywhere else. Yeah. I think, what can we learn from this is really the question.
Robert: Yeah, I think we can take away a lot. One is the culture and the teamwork and the people that you put into your business, it’s the combination of those that leads to success, and so you have to think about all those things. It’s the right pieces, right? I know with the Redskins, back in the day, we would try to get the best players that no one else wanted and not really worry about the team chemistry, right, it’s just individual players that were really good, and that just didn’t work out. The teams that do really well is they find the right pieces, and they might not be the best athlete at that position, right, but they fit into the system, they fit into the team. If you think about people in the same way, how does this person fit into your culture? How can you provide them with an infrastructure that will help them grow and be better than what they are, right?
Robert: I think that’s really important. This just goes to show that, even though people didn’t think Brady was this top athlete, although he works extremely hard, by putting him in a system where he can prosper, it helps everyone, right? It leads to success down the road.
Scott: Yeah, I think that directly applies to business. How do you craft a system around your employees that empowers them to do what they’re good at, and at the same time, you create this symbiotic relationship where everybody within the company then flourish. You can make another sports analogy by looking at Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen. When Jordan retired, for one year, Scottie Pippen led the Bulls. He went to the All-Star Game. They won three-quarters of their games, and everyone was like, “Oh, maybe it wasn’t Michael Jordan.” Guess what happened the next year. They stumbled to be barely .500 on the season, and that’s when Michael Jordan came back. The point is, you might have all the pieces when somebody’s taken out of the puzzle, but the dynamic has changed. You can’t ever get that back. Then pieces start to unravel. Maybe people leave or some core passion within your business has now changed. I think all those things directly apply, especially to smaller companies. As you’re building, each person is so critical to the overall environment. Don’t just hire based on technical skill, also think about how they fit within your organization.
Robert: Yeah, thinking about Brady, I think a lot about the grind too that people go through to get to a successful business.
Scott: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Robert: Starting a business is hard and it is a grind, and most people aren’t going to be there as you’re trying to build your business, and a lot of people won’t support you in that phase. It has to almost come internally, internal motivation, and also finding the right mentors and people that will help you along the way during those times. They understand the stress and they understand how hard it is. They’ve been there, they want to help you. If you can surround yourself with those type of people during that phase, it’ll help you be successful in the long run.
Scott: Absolutely. Yeah, you got to find your Tom Brady and your Belichick and get that company built.
Robert: As you’re building your business, think about Tom Brady and Belichick and the Patriots and how they built a successful team, and together they were great. Try to apply some of those same things as you grow your business, as you grow your team, and hopefully that leads to success as well. See you next week. Thanks for listening to this episode of the Stretch Goals Podcast. You can access the show notes for this episode and listen to other episodes by heading over to StretchGoals.fm.
Robert Dickerson is the Founder and CEO of Mapout a mobile learning platform that uses video courses to educate customers and train employees. He helps companies develop and launch their products.
Scott Davis is the Founder and CEO of MobX, a mobile development software agency. He has 20 years of experience developing software for Government, Finance, Sports and the Telecommunications industry.