Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Be Like Drew

It doesn't have the same alliterative ring as "Be Like Mike," but it's a fitting mantra for leaders in these troubled times.

In the fall of 2005, Drew Brees was coming off serious shoulder surgery, the city of New Orleans was just drying out from the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, and the team he was going to play for had been the laughing stock of the NFL since their inception in 1967. How did Brees approach the situation?

"People looked at New Orleans and said, 'Hey, where are you going to live? The organization is in shambles.' But for me, when I visited New Orleans, I saw an opportunity. I felt like it was a calling for me. Not only to come here and help turn the organization around, but to help with the rebuilding of a city and a region.” Brees said before the NFC Championship game.

Brees has actively taken on both challenges. His leadership on the field elevated his teammates play. The year after he took over his team went 10-6 and made it to the NFC Championship game. And his Brees Dream Foundation has helped rebuild schools, playgrounds and provide health care for kids in need to aid in the recovery from Katrina.

He saw opportunity in chaos. He saw a mission that needed to be accomplished. He took what he was given and made it better. In short, he led. Something we all need to do more of in business.

Sure the economy's a mess and companies are still struggling. But we're not going to get out of this by whining. When you go to work today, ask yourself two questions. "What's my mission?" and "What am I doing to make everyone around me better?" That's the first step if you want to be like Drew.

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