On April 15, 2000, in the sixth round of the NFL draft, Robert Kraft and company drafted a relatively obscure quarterback. This kid’s role would be to warm the bench behind Drew Bledsoe. That’s what 6th round picks do.
But he had other ideas.
This new quarterback didn’t care that he was passed over 198 times before he was drafted. Or that the franchise that eventually called his named passed him over five times before they took him. The first chance he got, he approached the billionaire team owner and simply told him:
“I’m the best decision this organization has ever made.”
What gull. What guts. What (borderline) arrogance. A lightly regarded NFL prospect; the sixth quarterback taken. But, as it turned out, he was right. While it’s arguable if Tom Brady is the greatest of all time, it’s inarguable that he belongs in that conversation. And, for most of us, that’s good enough.
Now think of your sales team. How many have the guts to approach the rich and powerful with this type of conviction? How many have the presence? The belief in themselves? The stature? How many of your people would have given Robert Kraft’s secretary the message and prayed she would have delivered it with some resolve instead of approaching the man themselves?
And back to Tom Brady - before the draft, or the injury to Drew Bledsoe, or the playoffs in 2001, there was belief. Belief that he belonged in Division 1 college ball. Belief that he was good enough to start for one of the winningest teams in NCAA football history. Belief that he belonged in the NFL. Belief that he could pilot the perennial underdog Patriots to a Super Bowl victory. And, despite his role as “game manager” and his pedestrian numbers in the playoffs, belief that he would win another. And another. And another. And finally, belief that every other quarterback before him quit too early. He needed a fifth championship.
Think of all of the opportunities this skinny, physically underdeveloped kid had to stop believing. Every passing second is a new opportunity to give up and stop believing. How often have you taken this opportunity? How often have your salespeople? Because, let's face it, cold calling is hard. Rejection stings. Battling objections can be exhausting. Sticking to your sales process day in and day out takes dedication. Even the best coaches and teams have a bad day.
But what would happen if you coached your team to get out of their comfort zone and, instead, have the belief - the guts, the gull - to keep going and prove they're the best decision?
What would happen if Tom Brady were to win a sixth championship?