Tom Brady will likely go down as the greatest quarterback in NFL history. While his athletic ability has certainly played a role in his accomplishments on the football field, it’s his remarkable mental discipline that stands out, enabling him to win a record-breaking six Super Bowls.
Being a professional football player is all Brady ever wanted to be. He brings a sense of purpose to every workout, every meal and every action he takes. He’s a perfect example of the difference between committing to an objective and just having good intentions.
If you make a New Year’s resolution to eat better and exercise more, you have good intentions. When you take the next step and decide that nothing is going to stop you from reaching these goals you’ve set, that’s the start of leading an intentional life.
As much as Brady is competing against other players and teams to win games, his primary focus is to continuously be a better version of Tom Brady.
This principle can also be applied to business.
It’s not enough to want to be a good business leader. We must make it a goal that drives every book we read, every conversation we have and every action we take. We must know our own strengths and weaknesses and take steps to fill in the gaps that could prevent us from meeting our objectives. We need to understand the things we can control, such as our attitude, our focus and our discipline, and make these traits a priority.
Conversely, we need to accept the things that are out of our control, such as the economy or a bad decision, and keep moving forward. We all have moments when life doesn’t go our way. It’s part of being human.
If we simply regroup and focus each day on being a better leader than we were the day before, good things are more likely happen. It’s not enough to say we didn’t waste the talents we’ve been given. We need to put those gifts to use and ensure that when it’s all over, we can honestly say we gave it everything we had.
It’s a universal lesson that can be traced back to The Parable of the Talents, a biblical passage from the book of Matthew.
“For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance,” states the passage from Matthew 25:29. “But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”
Fred Koury is president and CEO at Smart Business Network