Secrets of Tom Brady’s Success
Here’s why his leadership works on and off the field

by Bill Murphy Jr. / © 2021, Mansueto Ventures, LLC. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


Tom Brady is the oldest active player on a National Football League [(NFL)] roster, and somehow he’s [won] yet another Super Bowl trophy.

  Business leaders can learn a lot from studying Brady. [So] whether you’re a Brady fan or not (and whether you care about sports or not), here are [some] key secrets to Brady’s success:


1. He adapts to win.

  One of the least appreciated reasons why Brady has been able to endure is that he has adapted the way he plays the game to accommodate his age.

  One example: Early in his career, Brady was known for waiting for the perfect moment to make long, hard, accurate passes. In his 40s, however, he changed [to] faster, shorter passes, and more of them—which means less chance of being hit or injured by defensive players.


2. He achieves work-life balance.

  Brady is maniacal about football, to the exclusion of almost everything except family, at least according to journalists who have spent a lot of time with him. It’s balance—but a balance between only two things.

  “He would be the first to tell you that there is no more or less to his reality right now than the sport of football and his family,” wrote Ben Court of Men’s Health. “Whenever Brady talks about his family, which he does easily and without prompting, he comes to life, waving those long arms and breaking into laughter as he describes how each of his kids delights him.”


3. He develops more leaders.

  If you look at Brady’s jersey, you’ll notice a patch with a gold “C” and four stars under it, representing that he’s a team captain—a role Brady had during 19 straight seasons with his prior team, too.

  A great truism about great leaders is that they produce more leaders, not just followers. One legacy of that for Brady is the sheer number of other former [New England] Patriots* players who are now captains, too.


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