The Tom Brady Effect for IT Leaders

I was a doubter. I was!  I just did not want to give Brady his due, but after Super Bowl 51, I am a believer. He is the best ever.

I have seen the memes and the posts of those who have invited politics into their assessment, but let this post be different, especially for the IT professionals of the world. Brady served up a life lesson last night!

Professionals should look at Brady for example of what it takes to be a winner.  When the clock was counting down he delivered a gutsy performance. He never let mistakes or missteps or perceived bad calls to be the difference.

  • He did not concede the loss because of his interception.
  • He did not concede the loss because his best running back fumbled.
  • He did not concede the loss because the other team seemed to be too good.
  • He did not blame his coach. He did not blame the field. He did not blame the governor (Goodell). He just proceeded to do his best and win.

Everyday, IT leaders face what seems like impossible odds. They face shrinking budgets. They face business partners that scapegoat IT. They face vendors who sell around governance to achieve the quick dollar. They are seen as the expensive elephant in the room. Many of their team members don’t have the communication skills to overcome this perception. They are, in short, the company scapegoat target of choice when business results are not where they need to be.

And in all of this, a fork in the road is evident. A decision is at the forefront. That decision is to be a winner or a loser. Super Bowl 51 showed what it means to be a winner. It showed that you never give up no matter how far you are down in the score. It showed you don’t give up, no matter how off your game you seem to be. It showed you never give up, until the last second ticks.

Some IT leaders look at IT’s perception in their organization as un-overcomable. They concede the loss. They take their culturally positioned place as scapegoat and cause for bad business results.  Let Sunday February 5 be reason not to ever concede this again.

IT has the ability to change business. They are most frequently leaned on to quickly change the direction of a failing business. They automate. They enable. They simplify. They make easier. In short, they are often the reason many businesses today succeed.

Why then does IT continually accept a surrogate position? History has to be the only reason. If that is the case in your own organization look at Tom Brady. He was drafted in the 6th round for a sports team that was a perennial loser. He did not accept that and changed it. He has a winner attitude.

Every IT professional can have the same. Lesson from last night is: Stop accepting the loss and be a winner. Know your talents and use them to win. In the end, thank your teammates around you. That is the way to be a winner. A football game was won on February 5th. An IT lesson was learned as well. Don’t accept mediocrity. Don’t ever accept that you cannot change things. Recognize your place in history, the one you make for yourself. IT has an incredibly bright future in the digital age. Are you ready to be MVP?

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