This column could be a tribute to the Manning brother quarterbacks, Peyton and Eli. After all, I did dedicate my book to Peyton, and Eli keeps astounding people with his cool performances under pressure. But it’s more than that for me: they are both masters of the 4th-quarter comeback. You know: when their respective teams are down in score, sometimes by double digits. Well, those of us at a “certain age” can feel like it’s OUR 4th quarter. I know I do.
You get a few years on you, and you have had some health challenges. I had a life-threatening illness that took a couple of years to shake. I recovered fully at the end of 2007, just in time for the recession. My hero, Peyton Manning, had a couple of years of bad stuff, namely four neck surgeries, and a prediction from some that “he would never throw a football pass again.” So much for predictions. Peyton is back to his old come-from-behind-in-the-clutch self, setting records again. Last Monday night, he set a record: the first time a team down by 24 points won by double digits. That’s my Peyton: NEVER GIVE UP! Afterwards, at the news conference he said his victory was “a matter of WILL,” and “everybody was accountable—they all thought they could do things a little better.” And they did, and they came back to WIN.
Makes me clear that in MY 4th quarter, when tempted to give up, I could do things a little better, too.
Brother Eli won his game this past Sunday with the 23rd career game-winning drive in the 4th quarter. There were one minute and 13 seconds left, when he threw a beautiful pass to Victor Cruuuuz for the win. And he always looks COOL doing it. Eli does not have the extroverted personality of his brother: he is always calm. After the game in the interview, he gave credit to others: “Our defense did a great job—getting turnovers when we needed them.” Good ol’ humble Eli.
What can we, in our 4th quarter, learn from these two?
1. In football, not everyone does everything. The players each play a “position” and great teams have great players playing those positions. So if we don’t have time or energy to do it all, HIRE IT—barter for it—just share the work.
2. The best teams have balance. Eli has a great offensive “line” who protect him from being sacked. We can hire, or hang with people who balance us. Are you visual? Or auditory like me? If a resume says “graphic arts,” it’s a plus for me. I don’t want to learn how to design a powerpoint or a website—it’s my 4th quarter for goodness sake.
3. In football, it’s run versus pass. In other words, when can you make some easy yardage (progress) on your desired outcomes? Then you take the ball and run a bit. But, there are times when you need to sense the partnership of someone else, and throw them the ball. This is more risky, but you can get more yards (progress) when they catch it. Here’s where the chemistry comes in. I excel at structure. I can structure the most unstructured people and behavior. I like to partner with creative types, who push the boundaries, and take more risks.
The point is—it’s the 4th quarter, not the end of the game. There’s sooooo much time left! And another thing: we can call “time out” whenever—well, almost whenever—we want.