February 19, 2018
Below is a lesson from inc.com on the leadership lessons from Nick Foles’s post-game interview, as well as our key learning.
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Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles’s Post-Game Interview Is a Powerful Lesson in Leadership
Nick Foles gave a performance for the ages. But it was after the game that he showed us what true leadership is all about.
By Justin Bariso
Last night, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles delivered one of the most spectacular Super Bowl performances of all time. And he did it while facing the NFL’s version of Goliath: the New England Patriots.
Foles wasn’t even supposed to be in this position. He took over as the Eagles’ quarterback by default after starting quarterback Carson Wentz went down less than two months ago with a torn ACL, an event that many thought would end Philadelphia’s stellar season. After Foles strung together a couple of good games (and a couple of mediocre ones), he proceeded not only to lead his team to the Super Bowl, but to outduel arguably the greatest quarterback of all time in the process.
As Foles stood for his interview as Super Bowl MVP, he could have told us that he knew all along he would make it here. He could have told us how he deserved to be on this stage, and that he never lost belief in himself, or doubted his abilities.
He could have told us that, but he didn’t. Because as he knew more than anyone, those things wouldn’t be true.
Instead, Foles reminded us that as recently as a couple of years ago, he almost gave up on football. As he shared his struggle, he was calm and collected–an image he projected throughout the previous few hours, from warm-ups to his outstanding performance. (Foles’s teammates would cite his poise under pressure as a major strength–and one of the reasons behind their underdog victory.)
Foles then taught a major lesson in leadership, brilliantly captured in a few, short words:
“I think the big thing that helped me was knowing that I didn’t have to be Superman. I have amazing teammates, amazing coaches around me. And all I had to do was just go play as hard as I could, and play for one another, and play for those guys.”
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Our Key Learnings:
- “I didn’t have to be Superman. I have amazing teammates, amazing coaches around me.” Football, like many other things in life, is a team game. There’s no Super Bowl without protection from his front line, play-calling from the coach, or defense.
- True leadership isn’t about position, or trying to get others to follow you. True leadership is about action – putting your head down, going to work, and trying to lift up those around you. That’s what inspires others to follow because they want to, not because they have to.
- Great teams aren’t only about who’s on your team, but about how the team works together.
- By showing humility, setting the example, and praising his teammates, Foles demonstrated emotional intelligence. In doing so, he inspired trust – the deep, long lasting trust that requires connecting with others on an emotional level.