I’m glad the NFL lockout is over and not just as a fan. I have a number of friends who work for the league and having lived through a missed season during my time with the NHL I know that those folks were not having a leisurely Summer while things worked themselves out. There have been more than enough diatribes about billionaires fighting millionaires so that’s not today’s discussion. Instead, I want to talk about some news I read over the weekend that provides a great business lesson to us all.
The Colts redid Peyton Manning‘s contract. That’s not huge news but the fact that he insisted on taking less money than the team offered him is. It’s his thinking that’s the great point for the rest of us.
I realize it’s easy to push back some of the cash when you’re still going to make $20 million or more per season. But the Times’ report of the story helps us to understand why:
“Whether I deserve to be the highest-paid player over the next five years is irrelevant,” Manning told The (Indianapolis) Star. “I would rather them use that money and keep the players they want to keep and get other players. I told them that.”
And a quote from USA Today is the heart of the matter:
“I realize,” Manning said of his teammates Sunday, “I’ve got to have those guys around me.”
Many of us forget that we’re part of a team. Yep, even “sole practitioners” like me have people with whom we work to accomplish our goals. No quarterback can be a top passer without receivers catching what he throws or linemen to protect him while he does so. I’ve never made the kind of money Manning does but I imagine that having the extra $2 million a year he’s giving to teammates won’t appreciably change his lifestyle and his on-field success will let him recoup that money many times over off the field.
Contrast his thinking with that of CEO’s that pay low wages and demand extra hours at no pay while lining their own pockets. What about other executives that have one set of rules for their own behavior and another for the staff? They forget that without those other “guys around me” their success would be far more difficult to achieve and might not be possible at all.
I’m not a Colts fan but I might just be starting to become one of Peyton’s! You?