What the New York Giants Can teach Us About Quiet Leadership

Get excited.  We are officially 14 days away from the start of the NFL season.  That’s just 336 hours away from seeing the New York Giants – The World Champion New York Football Giants – begin their title defense. But believe it or not this isn’t a post about sports, or even Big Blue per se.

Now, stay with me for a moment.

It’s been a fun few years to be a Giants fan.  Obviously, it’s always fun when your team wins.  This time has been different though.  Here’s part of what’s made things so much fun: the quieter the team got, the better they performed.  Along with the traditionally solid defense, quarterback and team captain Eli Manning has evolved into a quiet – and yes, elite – leader as he has been better able to place his own stamp on the team.

I think the same holds true in the world of business (this is the non-sports part of my post).  For all the hype surrounding “celebrity CEOs” that crop up from time to time, some of the most successful and admired companies are led by people that are largely unknown outside the world of business and Wall Street.  Many of them carry the same traits: they have talent, but are aware of their limitations and have adapted their leadership style accordingly, they stay cool under pressure, they work to ensure their entire team is prepped for success, and most importantly they inspire confidence.  Our firm was founded by someone who I think many would agree is a quiet leader.  John Bliss, our founder (and stalwart Giants fan), always led by example, never let his emotions cloud his judgment and once told me, “Good teams beat single combat warriors every day.”

Quick: here’s a list of the Top 10 US companies by market capitalization.  How many of their CEOs can you name?

OK – pencils down.  At the end of the day, these companies are led by men and women that have risen to the pinnacle of their respective professions and have come to lead some of the largest and most successful enterprises in human history.  Grandiose? Yes.  But the fact remains, in our celebrity-obsessed society, there is still room for quiet, competent leaders to make a lasting impression in their chosen industry, whether it be in the board room or on the gridiron.  What comes to your mind when you think about the traits that make a quiet leader a successful one?


To reach Donna:

Phone:  212.584.5479
Email: donna@blisspr.com
Twitter: @donnamcsorley