Thank You, Tom Brady
What makes Brady’s legacy all the more significant are ultimately the people who never knew him but still idolized him.
The greatest leaders in any industry blaze their own paths to excellence. They make the world they occupy better and inspire people they’ve never met. They lead with purpose, clarity and devotion — knowing that their responsibility stretches far beyond their defined roles.
With the official news of Tom Brady’s retirement from the NFL on Tuesday, there has been an outpouring of gratitude from the sports world and beyond for the generational talent picked just 199th in the 2000 NFL Draft.
As a football player, Brady was an inspiring leader to his teammates, coaches and just about anyone he came in contact with. His humility, his genuine kindness and, most of all, his understanding of how he could serve endeared him to so many. His infectious but competitive personality brought out the absolute best in himself and his teammates, and it was no coincidence they always shined brightest during the most pressure-packed moments.
What makes Brady’s legacy all the more significant are ultimately the people who never knew him but still idolized him. Faceless names far from the corridors of Gillette Stadium. The ones who hung his poster on their walls as a symbol of stability, selflessness and perseverance. The ones who came to watch him play, and the ones who were never able to. The ones who rolled their eyes at his discipline while still envying it deep down. He touched all of them in ways that few athletes ever have — and, for that, we are all grateful.
In essence, Brady led his own revolution these past 23 seasons. And in the last few in particular, he reminded all of us of the old cliche: Age truly is just a number. No matter how much we’ve been counted out, cast aside, dismissed for a perceived weakness or shortcoming, we can all become better year after year. We can all forge our own indelible legacies. And we can all use humility as the most powerful leadership tool of all.
Here are seven lessons that Brady has given us beyond the Super Bowl victories.
Be authentic and never forget your past.
Work harder than everyone and never tell anyone
Be willing to say no to things that will not make you better
Work on the mind and body every day
The next win is the best win
Age is just a number, you can improve with age
Always, always, always be curious
Thank you, Tom. You’ve made a difference — and you’ve inspired more leaders than you’ll ever know.
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