Despite breaking the school record for total offense during his senior year with the Kent State Golden Flashes, Julian Edelman was not invited to the NFL combine. He was a successful college quarterback but NFL scouts did not see much of a future for him. It was looking bleak for this college star but then hope. At the end of 7th and final round of the NFL draft, he received a phone call.
“Hey, this is Coach Belichick. We are going to draft you. We really don’t know what you are going to play but we know you can play football. Nancy Meier [the Patriots’ director of scouting administration] will call you tonight to get you situated. Have a good one.”
It’s hard enough for freakishly talented individuals who have played wide receiver all their lives to make an NFL roster, let alone a small 5’10” dude that has played quarterback his whole life. But Julian would make it because he had a “whatever it takes” mentality. Fast forward a decade and Julian Edelman would earn Super Bowl 53 Most Valuable Player honors leading the Patriots to another world championship. He was a successful college quarterback but had to make a pivot. He had to make a change mid-stream. If he had been stubborn about being a quarterback, he would not have lasted very long in the NFL.
What about you? Are you set in your ways or are you willing to adapt when needed? Edelman had a goal that was much more important than his role. Sure, he wanted to play quarterback but he wanted to play in the NFL even more. Specifically, he wanted to win in the NFL. He was willing to do what was necessary to make himself and his team better.
Are you a supervisor or manager that tries to maximize the potential of each of your team members and find the best role for them? One of the reasons Bill Belichick has been so successful through the years is his willingness and ability to adapt. Sure, he probably has an ego as an NFL coach but he wants to win more than he wants to get his way. He is willing to make changes when necessary. In fact, he isn’t afraid to change up game plans from game-to-game. In Edelman’s situation, Belichick was willing to think outside the box and find a way to utilize Edelman’s talents.
Don’t fall victim to the way it’s always been done. Always look for ways to maximize your potential and the potential of those around you. Be willing to change and grow.