Antonio Brown Joins the Patriots After Leaving the Raiders: A Cautionary Leadership Tale

Key Takeaways:

  • Some who performs at a high level, but causes tension, may not be a good fit.
  • Athletes need role models for acting appropriately. 
  • A team is about more than a single individual. 

Leadership lessons can be learned anywhere — take the Antonio Brown situation for instance. Leaders and coaches alike can use him as a great teaching example.

Brown is no stranger to controversy or the news. His departure from the Pittsburgh Steelers was a circus played out in the media. His sequel with the Oakland Raiders generated a lot of headlines and none of them were due to his play on the field. It culminated with a made-for-TV drama that resulted in Brown getting released by the Raiders. He quickly signed with the New England Patriots and the world is waiting to see how Brown fits into “the Patriot Way.”

Brown’s actions have spurred the questions about the value of a talented, egotistical superstar athlete and his impact on team culture. Simply put, is their talent worth risking team chemistry?

Leaders and athletes need role models. They need examples of what right looks like. This helps them know how to act; it also helps them know how NOT to act. Brown serves as a great model for what not to do to be a good teammate.

Leaders and coaches can draw the conversation back to the impact on the team and how the team should be greater than the individuals. A few questions would generate great dialogue: “Is this appropriate behavior?” or “What would you do if you were his teammate?” or “Is this an example of a good leader?” This is also a great time to talk about commitment to the team.

Antonio Brown will continue to make headlines and is likely to provide more great lessons in leadership. Leaders and coaches should take these opportunities to teach their teams what not to do.

Photo Credit: Keith Allison

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Here at Lead Read Today, we endeavor to take an objective (rational, scientific) approach to analyzing leaders and leadership. All opinion pieces will be reviewed for appropriateness, and the opinions shared are solely of the author and not representative of The Ohio State University or any of its affiliates.