We are 5 weeks into the NFL season and there are only 3 undefeated teams left: Denver, Kansas City, and New Orleans. As I thought about what these teams have in common, I can see that each has a leader that has either taken time off or has changed scenery.
- Denver Broncos – I consider Peyton Manning the leader of that team and he had to take 1 full year off in 2011 due to his neck injury. He’s come back even better in his advancing age, at a time when most quarterbacks start to decline.
- Kansas City Chiefs – This team finished dead last in 2012, but this year’s turnaround has been remarkable. Their new leader is their coach Andy Reid, as well as their QB Alex Smith. Both of these gentlemen are in their first year in a new city and team. Both went through traumatic situations in their old jobs, only to be fired or let go.
- New Orleans Saints – Their leader is clearly Sean Payton and he is coming fresh into this season after serving a year suspension in 2012 from Bounty Gate. I believe this was the first time in history a coach lost a full season to suspension.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that these 3 teams have been the most successful. We all know how important it is to have leadership that has a vision, and both the energy and enthusiasm to inspire.
In both Peyton Manning and Sean Payton’s cases, I believe spending a year away from the game has given them a unique perspective. When you have the time & space to really think deeply, your mind is able to see things clearly. Without a clear mind, I think you cannot form a great vision.
Also, people can let too much time pass in a poor position or job and start to feel under appreciated (Alex Smith & Andy Reid). The more time that passes, the more your energy and certainly your enthusiasm can get sapped. Ultimately, you don’t do your best work.
Are you in a bad situation? Is it time to give yourself the gift of some time and space away from this situation? I think you’ll find that taking significant time off before you venture into your new position will pay off with a renewed vision, energy, and enthusiasm. Without these 3 ingredients nothing great can be achieved.