Is there a (Tom) BRADY in your BUNCH?

January 4, 2011 at 8:25 pm 3 comments

Tom Brady, NFL Quarterback

As the NFL season draws to a close, once again Tom Brady has turned in another MVP caliber season and is the likely frontrunner for that award.   With each year, the legend of Tom Brady grows as does his resume (three Super Bowls, countless records and more) — and his hair.   When we take a moment to reflect on his rise from low draft pick to superstar and team leader, there are lessons that we as HR professionals can learn about leadership cultivation and talent development.

The Tom Brady story in the NFL begins with The New England Patriots selecting him in the sixth round of the NFL draft (198 other players were chosen ahead of him).

In his first year,  the coaching staff worked with Brady (who was the third string QB at the time) teaching him the system (which in football equates to the corporate culture or method of operations) with the thought that with the proper cultivation he might be able to take the reigns should the need arise.    The mentoring and time that the coaches spent with the young rookie paid off as he rose from third string to backup by the end of his first year, with the thought that he could eventually lead the team in the future.

Well…as fate would have it…the future came in his second year, when the starting QB was injured early in the season.   When it was time for him to step up, Tom Brady was  ready, leading the team to a Super Bowl victory which was the start of a stellar career which most predict will lead to the Hall of  Fame.

Looking at this from an HR perspective, The New England Patriots identified an “employee” within their organization with potential (Brady) and provided the training, mentoring and professional development needed to prepare him to take a leadership role.    When the time came,  he was prepared to take on a leadership role which led to continued success for the organization as a whole.    So in essence, the Patriots plucked a “Brady” from their “bunch” with great results.

Is there a BRADY in your bunch?  Is there  one person or a group of people within your company/organization who, with the proper professional development and training can become a future leader?

If the answer is YES, does your company/organization have a system in place that encourages professional development and growth among your employees that can assist in their ascension to leadership roles?

If the answer is NO, it is important to evaluate your organization’s talent recruitment processes to determine how effective it  is in  identifying talented people who meet immediate needs while also possessing skills that can equip them to meet future needs as well.  When the Patriots drafted Tom Brady he filled an immediate need for a back up quarterback but was selected with a thought that he had potential to fill the need for a starting quarterback in the future.

So in 2011 ask yourself is there a Brady in your bunch?  You just never know where you may find your organization’s next MVP.

— by Curtis Midkiff,  (follow me on twitter @shrmsocmedguy)


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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Amy  |  January 5, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    While I agree with the premise about organizations, choosing Tom Brady as the example is not one I agree with. Please see his personal life.

  • 2. Andrew  |  January 5, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    Amy, I think you would have a hard time finding many star employees that have a picture perfect life outside of work, and to a certain extent, that is really irrelevant unless it affects work.

    This article is great from a training and development standpoint, but the other big lesson that is missed in this article is the recruiting/staffing aspect – the fact that Tom Brady wasn’t selected until the 6th round! The Patriots obviously saw something there that 31 other teams did not see at that point. Just goes to show that talent isn’t always getting the superstar but sometimes about getting the candidate that has the most potential to be that superstar.

  • 3. patsfan47  |  January 6, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    good piece. thought you might appreciate this.


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