Live from C3 2016 – The Post Peyton Report
While still riding the high from watching a live #CALDC3 talk by the one and only Peyton Manning, allow me to simply say: WOW. What an impressive individual. Beyond his legendary sports status, Mr. Manning knows a thing or two about being a leader.
Most Americans are well aware of the fact that he led both the Colts and the Broncos to Superbowl wins, but did you know that behind the scenes his clear philosophy on leadership, his discipline, attitude, and perseverance are probably what got him there, even beyond his athletic talent?
On the heels of this morning’s opening keynote by CallidusCloud CEO Leslie Stretch, about the Internet of Things and leading the market by developing disruptive technologies, Mr. Manning reminded the packed ballroom that success in any context takes personal focus, teamwork, and pretty thick skin (maybe you’d say “grit” in light of the opening video from the CallidusCloud marketing team).
The crux of his session was about real leadership and how it must be earned by “influencing people.” Leading by example was one of the ways he inspired his teams. He humbly shared that some of his failures were what strengthened him ultimately for great success and that setting lofty goals isn’t just “optimism,” it’s actually believing that there’s something better. It was both fascinating and inspiring to hear his accounts of the mental flexibility required to unlearn old systems and be open to learning new ones. The message underlined how important it is for leaders to continue to learn, to not get stuck in old ways of thinking and doing, and to continually evolve rather than resist change.
Of course, the really meaningful aspect was to see how clearly these lessons go beyond the realm of sports and transcend trite metaphors about being a “winner.” These lessons can be applied in business and in life, which was exactly his point. What a rush to see not just a proven leader, but a real hero in the flesh — gentlemanly, polished, prepared, and passionate about making himself and those around him better.
Oh and he’s also hysterically funny. The jokes were on point and perfect — exactly what you’d expect from someone who’s had to have a sense of humor (and humility) to get through some serious setbacks. And to set the record straight, he does not in fact look better with his helmet on ;).