Brett Favre: How Not to Be a Leader!

Brett Favre: How Not to Be a Leader!

For those of you who do not know who Brett Favre, here is a brief overview from Wikipedia. Brett Lorenzo Favre is an American quarterback in the National Football League. He is a 20-year veteran of the NFL, having played quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons (1991), Green Bay Packers (1992–2007), New York Jets (2008) and Minnesota Vikings (2009–present). Favre is the only quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 70,000 yards, the only quarterback to throw over 500 touchdowns, and the only quarterback to have over 10,000 pass attempts.

Brett Favre is most famously known for his streak of starting consecutive games as a quarterback. As of this morning Brett Favre has started 297 games in a row as a quarterback in the NFL, 92 more than the next quarterback. Favre is also 41 years old now, and has strongly considered retirement at the end of each of the last few seasons. Many say that he has come back simply because he wants to extend his streak to 300 consecutive games.

I wasn’t one of them until recently, as I thought he came back because he really loved the game and thought he could still make an impact. Well so much for that theory! Towards the end of last year and almost every game this year, Favre has been banged up to the point of him saying he may or may not play next week. The truth is, some of the injuries that he has sustained this year, would have sidelined a 30-year-old quarterbacks, never mind a 41 year old quarterback. Yet every Sunday, he trots out there and plays through the pain, his team often suffering because of this. Not only does his physical ability or lack –there-of compromise the team, but the drama of this streak creates a circus like atmosphere around the team, week in and week out. Many people say that he has the team and ownership hostage in that they have to play him because of this streak. In essence, the organization is playing Favre each week to preserve his streak, not because he is the best option for the team to win the game.

If there is one thing we can learn from Brett Favre, it is how not to be a leader. He is putting himself above the team, week in and week out. Other people are suffering because of this, including the back-up quarterback, all of his teammates, the organization as a whole and last but not least, the city of Minnesota. They are all at the hands of this streak right now and there is nothing they can do…….OR IS THERE?

When will the organization stand up for themselves and their city and put this soap opera to and end?

All I can say is that from a career advancement and leadership standpoint, let’s all learn something from this situation:

Good leaders sacrifice everything for the success of the team, not the other way around!

There is no intention in this post to diminish what Brett Favre has accomplished with this streak. I think the streak is an amazing feat and don’t think anyone will ever beat it. Unfortunately towards the end of the streak, in my opinion, Brett made the streak bigger than his team.

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This is a guest post from Anthony Fasano, PE, author of Engineer Your Own Success. Anthony found success as an engineer at a very early age and now writes and podcasts to help other engineers do the same. Visit Anthony’s website at and subscribe to the top 3 resources Anthony has used to become a partner in a firm at the age of 27.