10 Leadership Lessons from Football Greats

For many, the fall is synonymous with football. Tailgating with friends and family. Arguing who the best players are. Finding camaraderie in cheering for your favorite teams.

There is a special connection this classic sport carries with it through tradition and experience. And throughout its illustrious history, some of the greatest leaders have risen through its ranks. Check out these 10 quotes of some of football’s greatest players and coaches to see how their tips and advice can transcend into your professional life.

Embrace Ability, Motivation, and Attitude

“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” – Lou Holtz

Manage Expectations

“Just remember that nothing is as bad as it seems, and nothing is as good as it sometimes appears.” – Troy Aikman

Success Takes Perseverance and Self-Denial

“Football is like life. It requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication, and respect for authority.” – Vince Lombardi

Goals Are Meant to Fight For

“Remember, once you set a goal, it’s all about how hard you’re willing to work, how much you’re willing to sacrifice, and how badly you truly want it.” – J.J. Watt

Humility Speaks Louder than Words

“Self-praise is for losers. Be a winner. Stand for something. Always have class and be humble.” – John Madden

Never Turn Down a Challenge

“When you’ve got something to prove, there’s nothing greater than a challenge.” – Terry Bradshaw

Trust Your Team

“Sometimes some of the toughest things you deal with end up being the best things because you realize the people that you can rely on, that love you and support you through it.” – Tom Brady

Failure Isn’t Defeat

“I may win and I may lose, but I will never be defeated.” – Emmitt Smith

Success Requires Will

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.” – Vince Lombardi

Be a Leader of Integrity, Make a Difference

“Don’t walk through life just playing football. Don’t walk through life just being an athlete. Athletics will fade. Character and integrity and really making an impact on someone’s life, that’s the ultimate vision, that’s the ultimate goal, bottom line.” – Ray Lewis

What are your favorite quotes from football greats? How have you been inspired by players on the field to lead your team successfully? Let us know in the comments section below!


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