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Peyton Manning’s Winning Feedback On and Off the Field

Peyton Manning is certainly one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.

And yet, after 14 seasons in the NFL, he feels that he still needs people giving him feedback, and helping him to maintain a fresh attitude and new ideas. He demands constant advice., especially from Adam Gase – his former quarterback coach and current offensive coordinator – to give him  specific and unceasing feedback. As Peyton said in the Denver Post (9/15/12) right after signing with the Broncos, “I think the  older you get, the more important it is to have a guy to watch your fundamentals, certainly go over defenses and reads and progressions, but also to go over your fundamentals, your throwing mechanics.” Peyton Manning But Peyton Manning also knows how to give feedback, a skill never more on display than during the October 16, 2013 Sunday-night victory against the Dallas Cowboys. In only his second year as quarterback for the Broncos, Peyton Manning used feedback to guide his teammates’ responses and patterns to the plays he called – showing them what he wanted and how he does it, all while giving them plenty of positives for the performances his feedback was reshaping. The results speak for themselves – and so now do the NFL records.

He said after last Sunday’s game, “It’s hard to enjoy a touchdown drive when their offense is hot and you really are going to have to go out there and do it all again.” But do it he did, And the most interesting feedback he gave to his team in the last minute was to get a first down at the one yard line, but NOT score until the clock ran down until there were only a few seconds left to play, ensuring  that Dallas wouldn’t get the ball back with time to score.

Now, think of Peyton Manning as a manager for your company. If the way he studies his teammates is any indication, he would know all the tendencies of his direct reports – their strengths and weaknesses – and he would ask for their feedback to help him communicate more effectively with them. From the feedback of the top brass, he would know the direction in which the enterprise is moving and would, in turn, give feedback to his team so they (like his offensive line) would know their parts as participants in the grand scheme. Often, Peyton will leave post-it-notes on some of his players’ lockers with congratulations on a great practice, or something they need to work on.

From “feedback on the fly” during the games to “feedback in context” after the game, few can come close to the close communication Peyton Manning maintains with his team.

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