Aaron Rodgers in his Own Words: 7 Secrets to Success, including Leadership, Teamwork, a Good Locker Room – and/but Don’t Forget Work Ethic

After a rather full 24 hours, which included winning a Super Bowl, the MVP award, and going to Disney World, Aaron Rodgers then flew to New York to finish the day on Letterman.

The Packers' Clay Matthews drapes a WWE Championship belt over Aaron Rodgers after the Super Bowl. (Jamie Squire/Getty)

I watched the segment, which included a completion from Rodgers to Letterman (and a lucky audience member getting the football).  There were some great quotes from Rodgers.  Here they are, taken from the video (edited version on Letterman’s site, here:  full interview on youtube, here).

Aaron Rodgers:

I do have to be one of the leaders…  but it takes multiple leaders to have a locker room that functions properly.

I think a number of reasons: one, I wasn’t, you know – even today, I’m not gonna be the guy who pops out as – you know, I’m not 6-5, I’m not 240, I don’t run a 4.5 40. But I think a lot of times, the things you can’t measure are often the things that give people the most success.

You’ve really got to put some time in…  surrounded by great people, but I care about my job.

(Letterman:  What is your greatest asset?)  I think my confidence, which comes directly from my preparation. I put the time, and I watch film, I study our game and I practice hard so I go into the game and I expect to play well.

The biggest change in my development was that off-season, when I said, you know what, I want to be the best in my position, so I need to make sure that I take the steps this off-season to put myself in a position to be successful.

Here are my thoughts/observations:

#1 – other people work just as hard (Peyton Manning, for one), so it takes more than hard work.
#2 – but, this level of success cannot be achieved without the hard work.
#3 – that hard work has to be demonstrated “year round,” in the “off-season.”  With lots of emphasis on working on what will make you better.
#4 – it takes confidence.  And confidence comes from thorough preparation.
#5 – you have to earn the position of leader.  And then you have to lead.  And then, you have to be willing to share the leadership.  It takes a leadership team to lead a larger team.
#6 – and, don’t forget, it takes a team.  You have to count on others, you have to rely on others.  And, any one on the team who slacks off on work ethic, or preparation, can bring the whole team down.
#7 – and, it takes a positive environment aimed toward, calling for, success.  The “locker room” is as important as the practice field and the game field.

All of this sounds like “well, of course” common sense.  But Rodgers understood it, recognized it, and then, did it!

Success belongs to those who plan well, and then execute even better!

3 thoughts on “Aaron Rodgers in his Own Words: 7 Secrets to Success, including Leadership, Teamwork, a Good Locker Room – and/but Don’t Forget Work Ethic

  1. Dani Ticktin Koplik

    Fantastic post! Sports is often a great metaphor for business and in this case, there are some incredibly good lessons to emulate. This issues of preparedness and hard work are front and center (and actually often honored in the breach) when it comes to bringing GenY into the workplace but it’s also extremely savvy to acknowledge that hard work alone won’t get it done. And then to acknowledge how the stuff that can’t be measured also contributes to success? wonderful, especially given the eternal struggle to measure the quantitative ROI of qualitative contribution.
    So, maybe corporate leaders can take a page from Rodgers’ playbook and finally concede the value of soft skills cannot always be quantified

  2. Rick Chapek

    Absolutely awesome! Aaron is the real deal and being from Wisconsin I am very proud of our Green Bay Packers and their true demonstration of traditional Lombardi commitment and attitude. They are very deserving world champions… that cannot be debated. I will be giving a previously scheduled address to all of my company’s 60 employees tomorrow. While searching for the right quotation to help instill leadership and teamwork into my organization I came across this post (after watching Aaron on Letterman last night). I can’t imagine a more timely and appropriate message to convey from a truly great leader!

  3. Randy Mayeux Post author

    Thanks to both of you.

    Rick, I can only imagine the motivation this can provide to your group of 60. We in Dallas thought this might be our year – but that seems like a couple of lifetimes ago. So, congratulations — and Aaron Rodgers really does look like the real deal, as a person, and as a player.


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