Getting high with Peyton Manning

Denver is more than a mile-high these days, and it’s not just a result of the new cannabis law! Broncomania is back with a vengeance.

The Broncos have had a transformational year under the leadership of quarterback Peyton Manning, and for the first time since John Elway led the team, the Broncos are playing in the big show. Why has Manning had such a transformational impact on this team? Part of it is his physical skills, but part is pure leadership. Here are five of his leadership traits that make him great:

1. He has honor. While eating dinner at a restaurant, I was joking around with our server, Liz, and she said something that made me belly-laugh. Here’s the conversation that ensued:

(TC) Your tip just went up!

(Liz) Yeah, we’ll see.

(TC) Have you ever received an outrageously large tip?

(Liz) Once. It was when I served Peyton Manning’s table when he was here negotiating with the Broncos.

(TC) Really! Can you tell us how much he tipped you?

(Liz) Yes, he had a table of about eight people including family members. He was delightful and a gentleman all evening. When it came time for him to have a private discussion with the Broncos without his family present, he tipped me $500. He then asked if I would make sure that his one family member who had one too many drinks got upstairs to the hotel room safely. I said I would be happy to, and he gave me an additional $100. So, he tipped me $600 total!

During Manning’s contract negotiations, he made sure that the Broncos protected their interests in case he wasn’t able to perform at the level they expected because of his neck injury. He didn’t want to be paid if he didn’t perform as expected. (How often does that happen?) Peyton Manning is a man of honor, whether it’s how he treats a server at dinner or when he’s negotiating a multimillion-dollar contract. He’s the kind of person our kids can and should look up to.

2. He excels with unrelenting fire. Manning’s passion has been revived with his new team, offensive system and coach, Adam Gase. Passion is contagious. Knowshon Moreno caught it. Who would have predicted Moreno would rush for over 1,000 yards this year? The man is filled with passion. He brought a ton of his own, and he feeds off of Manning’s. This is a great video clip of Moreno celebrating a first down and also of tears streaming down his face during the national anthem before a game.

3. He’s maniacal in his preparation. Manning’s preparation includes an enormous amount of detail, one of the characteristics he is most known for. He’s raised the level of preparation for the whole team. His teammates have so much respect for him that they emulate his preparation and have learned that details matter—a lot. When you execute with more detail, you gain a great advantage.

4. He’s seriously funny. Manning is serious about winning, but he also knows how to have fun. If you’ve ever seen him on commercials or Saturday Night Live, you know he has a great sense of humor, and his teammates say that he’s not above a good practical joke.

5. He’s willing to fail … in order to succeed. Manning demonstrated his courage in overcoming four surgeries to his neck to return to football. He took a big risk; there was no guarantee that he would physically perform the way he used to. He’d played his whole career with the Colts, and when they released him, took a chance with a different organization. The Colts no longer believed in his abilities, but he did, and he is willing to lay it on the line again. Everyone believes now!

Win or lose, Manning and the Broncos have given us a great high. Colorado has a football team and a leader that we can be proud of for many reasons. The only other thing that could have made the ride even better—is if we still had the Barrel Man.

Go Broncos!

Categories: Management & Leadership