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Who's Your Tom Brady?

By now you’ve likely heard about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Superbowl LV win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Being a resident of the Tampa Bay area, for us, this has been a long time coming. While the Buccaneers won the 2002 – 2003 Superbowl after many years of being the laughing stock of football, they had not reached the playoffs since 2007. So, you can imagine for us here in Tampa Bay, this win is the equivalent of winning the billion-dollar lottery Powerball.

But the question many people are rhetorically asking is, what was the difference this year? It’s rhetorical because we all here know the answer to that question. You guessed it, Tom Brady. That got me to thinking about organizations and the leaders who influence them.

After an unceremonious exit from the only team he’s played for since entering the NFL, Tom Brady landed with the Bucs and immediately began drawing from a talent list of players. Only a year after retiring from the NFL, he coaxed tight end Rob Gronkowski out of retirement. It is reported that Gronk replied to Brady’s call, “I’ve been waiting on you to call.” He also tapped running back Leonard Fournette, who himself was out of a job, having been released by the Jaguars. And one of the most startling people Brady tapped was Antonio Brown, who like Shleprock in the Flintstone cartoon, trouble never seemed far behind him.

What does Gronkowski, Fournette and Brown have in common? All were recruited by Tom Brady and not one of them were with the Buccaneers the year before. There are some incredible lessons organizations can learn from the moves made by Tom Brady.

Great Leaders Draw Great People

Many, if not most leaders spend a great deal of time simply working to achieve results. While results matter, they are not the holy grail. Great leaders take it a step further, and draw great people to build a great culture. Great leaders aren't satisfied with what they "have." Great leaders also have an influence that causes others to want to be around them.

Tom Brady, knew Gronkowski still had more juice left. Tom Brady, knew Leonard Fournette wasn’t washed up and could still be a punishing runner. Tom Brady, knew that with the right mentoring, Antonio Brown could flourish. And because of Tom Brady’s leadership, not only did the men he recruited excel, they were the keys to the 4 touchdowns for the Buccaneers.

Who is your Tom Brady in your organization? Who is that person that uses their influence to draw out the best in others? Who’s that person within your organizations that persons inside or even outside of your organization want to work for?

How Can You Be Like Tom Brady (And still be you)?

1. Spend a little time each week looking for great people to spend extra time with to mentor.

2. Spend time developing people to become something instead of getting them to simply do something.

3. Make connections and keep notes on talent you may want to tap down the road.

4. Instead of putting together a list of potential candidates to replace Susie when she gets promoted or moves on, have your own list of people who are the type of talent you want now.

I believe we all want to be around or work for great leaders. I’m aware that neither you nor I are Tom Brady, however, we both certainly can make sure we’re the kind of person that others would want to follow.

So, I leave you with the question I started with, who’s your Tom Brady?

About the Author: Dr. Kelvin McCree presented our January 2021 webinar entitled "SPARK: Cultivating an Agile Workforce in a Time of Disruption" which members can view in our webinar archive. He is an international speaker, entrepreneur, and has authored seven books. He is also the host of The Pivot, a weekly motivational television program.


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