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The Tom Brady Lesson

I was sitting there watching football one Sunday and my husband out of nowhere says, "Did you know that Tom Brady is in the lower 1/3 of paid NFL quarterbacks?"

"What? There's no way! He's the G.O.A.T." (Greatest Of All Time - my kids taught me that.)

He then proceeded to tell me how with the NFL salary cap, Brady saw how taking a smaller salary would allow for better players around him which would ultimately create a better team and more wins. More great players makes for a great team, whereas just good players makes for an average team. And ultimately, more wins equals more endorsements for Brady.

This thought had my thoughts racing for the rest of the game.

Theoretically, don't we all have salary caps? There aren't funds lying around to hire whomever we want, whenever we want.

With our recent CDFI RRP grant of $1.8M, I had been brainstorming for months all the ways to invest these funds to grow our ability to serve the underserved better. New products, improvements to technology, staffing, marketing.... the list continued on and on.

As I looked at all the options of who to hire I decided to go after the very best. Hire strong performers that cost more but can get the results of two (or more) good (or mediocre) team members.

I took Tom's advice and set my pride aside and opted for higher paying teammates; some as much as my own. Individuals who are on the fast track to be CEO's or desire to get the limelight so they can move to larger credit unions with higher ranking positions. I recruited with the knowledge they will likely not be here long-term.

In return I spend 2 hours per week training them on the credit union financials and metrics, how to recognize strategic opportunities, and writing business plans. We discuss intentional leadership, credit union governance, and more. All the training they sought but felt they were not getting in their current employment.

If Tom were reading this, I'd hope he'd ask, "So how's it working?"

"Well I'm glad you asked, Tom. Awesome!"

We're destined to win the Super Bowl of credit unions with the numbers we're producing-- all leading indicators of the lives we're changing! As for my new teammates, they're thrilled! They are so grateful of what I am investing in them to learn and grow.

Tom's the G.O.A.T. in football and leadership.

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