Super U Podcast | 7 Super Tips with Roger Goodell

Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the National Football League gives us insight into how he creates company culture, what makes a company successful, and how he defines a good leader.

5x #1 Bestselling Author and Motivational Speaker Erik Qualman has performed in over 55 countries and reached over 50 million people this past decade. He was voted the 2nd Most Likable Author in the World behind Harry Potter’s J.K. Rowling.

Need a sneak peek? Below are the main takeaways from the episode.

Super U Podcast | 7 Super Tips with Roger Goodell:

[2:31] Tip #1

“Well, being the mother of five boys, and I’m the smallest of the five. And we’re five and seven years we did a little bit of roughhousing. She was a disciplinarian. She was tough. But she was also the sweetest lady ever met in my life. She had great character, great sense of humor. She was always the one that had very high expectations for all of us. She expected us to meet those expectations when we didn’t hit him. She would let you know. And she would tell you, I expect more from you. And I was not exactly the best kid. My first several years until I graduated from high school, I was a little bit of a clown. I was not a very good student. And my four brothers were A+ students. I just didn’t apply myself. It wasn’t interesting. I was interested in sports. I did have a girlfriend at that time too. But I was sports was it for me. And she never understood why I didn’t realize my own potential. And she was, I think probably frankly a little disappointed in that. And that’s what turned when I left high school. I no longer want to disappoint my mom or my dad. And when I came back from my first semester in college, I got a 4.0. And I never left the library my entire freshman year, the first semester because I just felt I could not continue to disappoint them and could not continue to let them understand and need they need to understand that their son had something going for him rather than not a very good student.”

[5:23] Tip #2

“Well, I was a middle child. And some people say that you always treat your middle child a little differently. I have twin girls who are 13. So I don’t have that issue. But you know, my mom loved each of us for our own individuality. We’re all different. We have five boys that are still, they all have very successful lives doing well, career-wise and personally, and much different. Some of us are jocks, some of us are not. I think we all love sports and some passion. But we all have that bond with our parents. And we are fortunate to have two great parents and but the mom is sort of the glue. The mom was the person who kept us together. She died in 84. My dad died in 87. And that is something that their values or principles, what they taught us in life, how to do things is as important as what you do. I don’t think she ever has to enable us to accomplish anything other than our full potential. And that was something that stayed with us. I’m fortunate because I’m doing what I always wanted, I always dreamed of doing. Thankfully, before she died, I worked for the NFL, so she at least knew I made the first step as an intern into the NFL. But hopefully, she’s watching upstairs now.”

[7:57] Tip #3

“Other than my family, my passion is football, and always has been. As a kid, it seemed like I was always either playing or thinking about football. The values I learned from the game are central to who I am. I learned about commitment, communication, sacrifice, and determination. It was fun, exciting in the ultimate team sport. 30 years ago, I joined the NFL as an intern in Commissioner Pete Rose Elle’s office. I was Pete Rosales driver at Super Bowl 20 in New Orleans, in 1986. I couldn’t believe my luck. And I couldn’t imagine a better job. It was the beginning of a dream. And I’m still living it.”

[9:58] Tip #4

“I’m a big believer in dialogue. And, and frankly, I talk to my kids all the time and others about, you really don’t learn to you’re uncomfortable. And really when you get uncomfortable, it forces you to resort to something you’re not comfortable with, right? And it gives you an opportunity to learn. So I always look at things as an experience to learn.”

[11:43] Tip #5

“My dad actually when he spoke up against the Vietnam War, you know, he originally supported the Vietnam War as a politician, he changed his mind actually by going to various colleges around the state of New York, which he represented. And he listened to the kids. Yeah. And he listened to the students who were being drafted, by the way, and going off to this tragic war. And so he was really influenced by that and said, he came back and he sat us all down as a family and said, I made a decision that I’m going to oppose the Vietnam War. It will not be popular with the president united states, Richard Nixon and I will likely not win my reelection for the Senate. But it’s the right thing to do. And so he turned out to be right on the fact he wouldn’t win reelection, because the President, the Vice President just ripped, and just, you know, he didn’t have a chance. And, you know, but he stood up for what he believes it’s not always easy to know what’s right. But you have to hit when you do know what’s right, you have to have the courage to do it.”

[14:11] Tip #6

“Well, I think the fans have always had a big impact on the NFL and what we do because that’s who we serve. Ultimately, we want to add fans are changing there. It just goes back to the point we were talking about before. Do we change the presentation again, whether you’re consuming it through media or you’re in the stadium, there are different experiences and we have to make those the best possible experiences. So fans give us an awful lot of feedback on that. I was at giant Stadium in the parking lot last week. And I got a lot of feedback. Believe me, I get it in Buffalo too, by the way, and you know, but you want to hear that. And I think they have an influence on us because I heard from fans several times about rural changes. They were Actually a fan was part of our overtime rule change. Going back a couple of years. You have to keep your eyes and ears open to all of that and absorb it and use it properly. We can’t meet every fan’s position, particularly when it comes to officiating. But when you really want to make sure that you’re properly considering that information and having the effect of changes you want in the game, either on the field or off the field, by the way.”

[16:34] Tip #7

“Essentially, because I had a lengthy conversation after our training session yesterday on this issue is how do we teach? And Tony Porter’s a leading expert in this area Who is there? How do we teach men what it’s like to be a real man, and to really engage in healthy relationships and what it’s like to be, and our players really can help on that front. And so we’ve engaged in the last couple of years, what we call character camps and getting into schools, and providing them an opportunity to talk about what it’s like to be a real man, what it’s like to conduct yourself and have healthy relationships, because you’re right, long term, if they understand that early, you’re avoiding the issue in the first place, which is what everybody wants. So it’s prevention. And so those character camps, I think, have been incredibly successful. We’d launched another phase of that, at the draft this year. We’re using a lot of our players to do that. And it also goes back to something even more fundamental to your point on the importance of education. It’s our eligibility rules. We defended our eligibility rules in court, because we believe that when young men are exposed to formal education have that opportunity is only good for them long term. So instead of taking players at an earlier age, we’re asking them to stay in college. And that gives them an opportunity to have the benefits of that formal education, which I’m a big believer is something that’s overlooked an awful lot. And we’re going to continue to stand behind that.”

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Connect with Roger Goodell:

Twitter: @nflcommish



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The Super U Podcast is hosted by #1 bestselling author and Motivational Speaker Erik Qualman.

About the Author: Erik Qualman

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