Confession: I binge-watched (with my son) ‘Quarterback,’ an 8-episode docuseries on Netflix that follows three of the biggest quarterbacks in the game, providing an upfront look at their lives on the field and off.
As an avid football fan, I was incredibly impressed by the preparation, energy, and relentless focus each of these players had in support of a single goal. While watching, I couldn’t help but write down parallels between the philosophies, mindset, and preparation required for any individual in a leadership role, and how the tone starts at the top.
While this list of observations is not all inclusive, it is the first time I’ve actually taken notes during a show. As such, I’ve broken this post up into two parts to hit some of the highlights! Ready… set… hike!
Never Stop Growing
The athletes’ desire for growth is insatiable. They are never satisfied and are constantly learning, studying, and adapting to the situation at hand. Whether it’s modifying their individual game to deal with an injury, adjusting to a player/coach dynamic, or even a situation at home, the relentless focus on growth was a through line for all three players who are observed studying, prepping, simulating and trying to look around every corner in support of gaining a competitive advantage.
This challenged me to think about my own continued growth. With 1440 minutes in a day, what am I doing to add more value to my organization, be a better colleague, be a better dad, husband, or friend? This year, I decided to apply to graduate school for an additional master’s degree and was fortunate enough to have been accepted at Brown University. While this is going to stretch me intellectually and culturally and impact time with my family, I am confident that the investment will pay dividends. I can’t wait to see what 2024 brings as I meet my new cohort!
The Power of a Winning Culture
Culture is king and a healthy culture elevates productivity and allows these athletes to thrive.
“How bad do you want it? Want it for each other!” – This was a quote that Patrick Mahomes yelled in the huddle to his teammates as they were losing to the Eagles during the Superbowl. I loved this statement because it wasn’t about him winning; it was about wanting to show up for the teammates in the trench with you.
I watched each of these QBs lead their teams with varying styles of humility, passion, and work ethic, and was inspired by the idea that while they are clearly three unique individuals, these traits were consistently evident in how they led both their personal and professional lives. Throughout the series, these QBs encourage their teammates publicly and privately in support of getting the best out of one another. No play was too small, no extra effort went unnoticed, and the QB was the first to recognize an exceptional hustle play, a great play call, or a selfless block to free up a receiver for a TD.
We all know that winning is contagious, but when was the last time any of us wanted something so bad on behalf of a team member that we went above/beyond a job description or ‘working hours’ to defy expectations?
When MultiCare recently went live with Workday, I watched my colleagues do just that — we wanted to win for each other. There were no egos, no titles, no tenure. If tickets needed closing, we did it. If the command center needed to be set up, we did it. Selfless leadership has become so rare that it is anomalous when we actually witness it firsthand. And yet, winning together makes you actually want to win even more — not for yourself, but for your team.
Aside from the amazing amenities each of these franchises has, each athlete has an additional team around them, ranging from personal chefs and strength coaches to mental coaches and ‘body teams’ that focus solely on accelerating healing between games.
Admittedly, the excuse we tell ourselves is that we aren’t NFL athletes, and we can’t ‘afford’ this type of luxury. However, being intentional about taking PTO, getting adequate sleep, spending time with friends, and doing whatever else fills your cup is something we all need to do a better job of in 2023. You can’t be your best self for your team if you aren’t taking care of yourself.
How are you measuring how you take care of yourself? What is your work/rest ratio?
The ‘Little Things’
After one of my son’s matches, I always ask, ‘Did you win, or did you learn?’ The score might dictate the winner or loser, but learning can/does come from either outcome.
These athletes spend so much time on the little things in practice and outside of ‘work’ that on game day, they make the heroic look pedestrian.
When was the last time we spent ‘extra’ time to hone our craft? How are we engaging with others inside/outside of our own vertical to learn about what works and what doesn’t, and perhaps pick up some habits or traits that we can apply to our own organization?
I think about the incredible network of leaders I’ve been fortunate enough to engage with who have always pushed me to be curious. We share ideas and failures and celebrate wins… even if our organizations would never do business with one another. These ‘little things’ are the force multipliers, moving individuals, teams and organizations from good to great.
I hope this post was an entertaining way to think about the parallels in our own lives as I believe we all have things we can learn from each other, despite the role, profession or industry!
Make it an awesome week (and go Seattle Seahawks)!
This piece was written by Bradd Busick, SVP and CIO at MultiCare Health System. To view the original (published on LinkedIn), please click here.