Career Lessons Learned as Brett Favre Retires

  • Brett Favre’s resume profile might read: 17 year career in the NFL with 16 years as the Green Bay Packer’s quarterback.  Broke most quarterback records in passing yards, touchdown passes, and wins along with all-time franchise records.  Holds the all-time consecutive start record with 253 games and a   Super Bowl win in 1996.


Well, # 4, you sure look like # 1 in my playbook!  And now that he announces his retirement, what lessons can we learn from #4 to help us catapult our career path to #1?  What was behind the man, the athlete, beyond the numbers who accomplished this career legacy?


Work Ethic - What we saw on game day was just a small portion of his week.  In fact, his football career at Southern Mississippi was almost cut short when he had a near-fatal car accident requiring 30 inches of small intestine to be removed.  Inquiry:  What motivates you in your work?  Are you in the right career?  A solid work ethic is a building block for any career.  It’s what helps you show up on your “game day.”

Preparation - Whether he was in the weight room, reviewing game footage, analyzing plays, practicing, or doing mental and emotional preparation, there are many aspects of preparing for game day.  Inquiry: What do you to strengthen your career performance?
 
Team Player - Brett has been called the ultimate team player, # 1 in team.  He led by humility and was devoted more to the “we” than “me.”  Inquiry: What have you done to advance your teamwork skills? 

Leadership - What is it to lead by example?  He started 275 consecutive games (including playoffs) from 1992-2008, which certainly earns a gold star for attendance!  Aaron Rogers commented recently, "I think the greatest thing I learned from Brett was just watching him in practice,'' Rodgers said.  “There would be days late in the season where he'd be dragging in the locker room and didn't really want to go out to practice.  But, we'd get out there and the whistle would blow and he'd be going 100 miles an hour and be full of energy and enthusiasm because that's what the job demands.  I got a firsthand look at what greatness is all about.  Now, I've got to take advantage of that.''  Inquiry:  How can you step up to be a leader in your own life and career?  Do you have a mentor or could you be a mentor?

Passion - Seems obvious…for the love of game.  Going to work and getting paid to play and entertain millions of fans.  Brett was lucky, he found his calling in life, yet millions of Americans are dissatisfied and feel stuck in their jobs.  Finding a calling in life for most is something we create with intention, diligence, planning and hard work.  Inquiry:  Are you in work that suits you?  Have you made choices that are not propelling your career path forward? 
 
Strategy - Play to win.  There were wins and losses, but it was always about taking the learning and moving to the next game by not reveling too long over a recent win or loss.  Inquiry:  How do you strategize your career path?  Do you have a plan to deal with the ups and downs in your career?

Perseverance - He had setbacks…coaching and player turnovers, injuries, his addiction to pain medication, his father’s unexpected death, his wife Deanna’s breast cancer, even damage to his home in Mississippi from Hurricane Katrina.  Yet, he persevered.  It is said that he was bold on the field and meek off the field.  Inquiry:  How do you find your inner strength?  It’s all right to ask for and accept help…that’s about courage.

Thank you #4!  I look forward to seeing “what’s next,” but in the meantime, enjoy the time to pause and reflect on an outstanding career.    

Barbara Wulf  MS, GCDF, CPCC
Barbara Wulf is a certified career/life coach and speaker who helps individuals redesign their career paths by supporting and inspiring them to stretch, seek, and achieve life/work success. Barbara holds a master's degree in counseling, is a global career development facilitator, is certified by The Coaches Training Institute and is an adjunct faculty member at Concordia University, St. Paul, MN. Barbara offers career assessments along with resume/cover letter writing and interviewing strategies for impact.

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