Faith at Work Lessons from Tom Brady’s #DeflateGate

by | Aug 3, 2015

What can Tom Brady, a four-time Super bowl champion, three-time Super Bowl MVP, two-time NFL MVP, and ten-time Pro Bowl quarterback, teach us about faith at work? Clearly Brady does his work with excellence, one of our 7 Pillars of Faith and Work. As many already know, Brady was recently accused of making some mistakes and trying to cover up those mistakes. Some believe the rule Brady violated is ridiculous.

Now think about your work. Are there rules, policies, or procedures that seem unnecessary? If you or someone else thinks they are unnecessary, does that make them okay to violate? Let’s be clear, we’re not talking about rules that violate your morals or values. That’s a different story.

I had the chance to hear John Roberts, president and CEO, J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. present a talk with our own David Roth to a group of MBA students at a local university. Both men spoke about ways they have blended their faith with their work throughout their careers confessing it is a process that develops over time. One of the things Roberts said that really stood out was that above all else, you have to protect your integrity. He emphasized the important role we play as managers to “make doing the right things simple.” When the wrong choice is easier than the right choice, the leader leaves his or her team vulnerable to all sorts of temptations.

For Brady, his leadership made it too easy to achieve what he is accused of doing – manipulating his equipment managers into violating league policies for him. Because of his alleged lapse in judgment, the NFL is working to implement more security around how the equipment is managed to make sure it is much harder to replicate the same scenario.

Perhaps Bo Mattingly is right; getting rid of the rule would be easier. Perhaps getting rid of some of the rules in your workplace would make life easier for everyone as well. But remember, violating those rules will only strengthen the case for their need, not make them go away.

While Brady may have broken what some see as a ridiculous rule, at the end of the day it was still a rule. And if he didn’t agree with it, he could have worked through his very influential coaching staff and team owner, Robert Kraft, to have the rule changed. So, what about you? Is doing the right thing “easy” in your work? What barriers are exposing you to temptation?

At WorkMatters, we want to help marketplace leaders flourish in their faith and work. Colossians 1:10 reminds us what the flourishing life looks like. We are called to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” Once we lose our integrity, the credibility of our witness and our walk takes a major hit. Prayerfully think about some of the rules you want changed in your workplace. How can you use your influence to change the rule or policy and not be held up as an example of its importance?