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5 Things to Learn From Peyton Manning About Leadership

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 8/03/2016 Gordon Tredgold
LITTLE LEAGUE © Cathy Yeulet via Getty Images LITTLE LEAGUE

As a sports fan, Monday was a sad day. Peyton Manning announced his retirement from American Football, a sport that he has graced for over 18 years. Peyton leaves the sport as the quarterback who threw the most touchdowns, threw for the the most yards and who is tied for the mot regular seasons wins.
Peyton is a great role model, loved by his teammates and extremely successful. One of the best that ever played his position.
Here are five things that we can learn from Peyton, about how to be recognized as an excellent leader and leave a great legacy.
Demand Excellence
Peyton Manning made those around him better players, not just because of his playing abilities, but because he demanded excellence and demanded that they give their best. He put the effort in both on and off the field. Which had a significant impact on the performances and results?
What allowed Peyton to be able to demand this was his other qualities.
Walk the Talk
Peyton set the example; he demanded excellence of himself, he strove to be the best that he could be. He walked the talk which not only allows you to demand the same of others but inspires them to want to give more. Peyton had great attention to detail, his preparation was impeccable, and he had a tremendous work ethic. When you take this approach, your team sees it. They see what it takes to be great, and when you win MVP, they see the results that striving for excellence can bring.
Be Enthusiastic
Enthusiasm is infectious, and if the leader is enthusiastic, it ripples through the entire team. Enthusiasm is what helps get the team through the tough times; it gives the team confidence that the leader will be there when needed. Peyton won 186 regular-season games, 45 of which were won in the last 15 minutes when coming from behind. A never-give-up, never-say-die attitude helps create great teams.
Be Courageous
Playing quarterback means you don't have much choice but to be courageous. It's a tough position to play where you are targeted by the opposition, and you have to make the key decisions under pressure.
But as William Wallace said in the movie Braveheart, "people don't follow titles, they follow courage." So the more courage we show, the stronger the link between the players will be.
Be Self-critical
Peyton was never one to point the finger or blame at others when he screwed up. He would put his hands up and be open about his performance if the team lost because of him. This builds trust between the leader and the team. It cannot be that when the team wins, it's because of you but when it fails it's because of them. That's an attitude that builds distance and dissent, and damages credibility.
If you can live these five qualities, it will not only make you a better leader, it will also make you a popular leader that people will want to work for, and go the extra mile for. It's inspired teams that achieve amazing results, and inspiration starts at the top!

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