An Update to our Leadership Lessons from Brett Favre

Brett “Cuatro” Favre and the Leadership Lesson of Humility

When you’re wrong, you’re wrong. The best thing to do is admit it. We are certainly humble enough to admit it.

At the beginning of the 2008 NFL season we predicted that the New York Jets would finish the season no better than 8-8… we were wrong. (See our August 27, 2008 post.)

The addition of Cuatro, which we predicted would not be enough to help the Jets make the playoffs, was indeed not enough to help the Jets make the playoffs. We were right on that point (and yes, we do like to gloat). The New York Jets finished the 2008 season 9-7 and fired Head Coach Eric Mangini today (read the New York Daily News story here). It seems Cuatro leaves a wake wherever he goes.

To add insult to the Jets’ injury, they missed the playoffs because the quarterback they jettisoned in favor of Favre, Chad Pennington, led last year’s 1-15 Miami Dolphins to the playoffs by defeating the Favre-led Jets. That’s karma; and in leadership, karma can be a bitch.

We also predicted that Brett Favre would throw more interceptions than touchdowns in 2008. Well, we were wrong on that point, too. Favre threw exactly 22 touchdowns and 22 interceptions – pretty crappy for a future Hall of Fame QB, but still not what we predicted. While we admit we got that one wrong, we do want to point out that Favre still led the NFL in interceptions this year – in fact, he threw 22% more INTs than the next closest QB. (Perhaps he should change his number to 22.)

The Green Bay Packers, who let pride and ego get in the way of a good decision, finished the season 6-10 – a far cry from the 13-3 they enjoyed with Favre in 2007. The leadership lessons we pointed out in our July 17, 2008 post still ring true: Brett Lorenzo Favre is more important than the team (in his mind); and get out in front of issues early, speak the truth and stay firm in your convictions (we warned the Packers not to capitulate – they did).

Interestingly, unlike last year when the Favre-led Packers were in the playoffs, both the Green Bay and Favre have plenty of time off to rethink their 2008 leadership blunders. Something tells us they learned nothing from the experience – their lack of humility keeps getting in the way.