Project Management Lessons from Tom Brady

Be prepared and earn the opportunity

We all know the story, 6th round draft pick who arrived in New England as the 4th string Quarterback.

A greater accomplishment might be Brady’s ability to arrive at Michigan as the 7th Quarterback on the depth chart and 3 years later make his first start and be a 2 year team captain.

How did it do it? He earned all of this through hard work, preparation, and his love for practice and especially competition. Though out the bumps in the road (he refers to these as bounces) he stayed calm and focused on what he could to do get better. So stay calm out there and be confident.

When I’m out on the football field, I have so much confidence in what I’m doing.

Call the Play & Move the Chains

If you watch enough Patriot’s games you will notice the recording breaking offense does not emphasize big plays.

Instead they focus on ball control (avoiding mistakes), stringing together positive plays (emphasizing details as they move down the field), and playing to their strengths.

Just as a football team hardly ever starts a drive on the 20 yard line and scores on the first play, a project doesn’t kick off and launch in one deliverable.

Project Managers should focus on stringing together positive sprints, avoiding risks and mistakes, all in an effort to generate and maintain positive momentum. The Project Manager that can do that keeps a starting job, turns drives into “touchdowns”, and has happy clients (fans).

Football is so much about mental toughness, it’s digging deep, it’s doing whatever you need to do to help a team win and that comes in a lot of shapes and forms.