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The Virtue of Change

Posted by on May 21, 2014

Change is so difficult. Any change. The crazy thing is, even positive change that we know is going to be so much better, is a challenge.

It has an odd grip on each of us. Change is related to habit and habits are hard to break. (Herein read “The Power of Habit.”)

When Brett Favre entered the scene for the Green Bay Packers, the fan base did have a fondness for the leader of the pack at that time.

Don Majikowski was brash, wild and successful. He was a pro bowler with a sweet mullet and a slight national media appeal. It had been quite a long time since the Packers had a star at QB that was mentioned by media outside Green Bay.

The “Majik Man” as he was called, brought with him a sense that the NFL tides were finally turning back to the way they should be. He gave the fans a sense that Green Bay was soon to become Titletown again.

When Majikowski went down, the hopes of Packers nation seemed dashed.

Then some guy from the south who had a last name that didn’t sound anything like the way it was spelled, stepped in.

The rest of the story, as they say, is history.

It was a rough transition for a few years, but the change happened. Brett Favre stepped in. Don Majikowski became a Lion and a Colt and –for better or worse — the Packers moved on.

After double-digit years as the Packers quarterback and in one of the most awkward transitions in sports history, Brett Favre “retired” from Green Bay and the team moved on with Aaron Rodgers as their signal caller.

There are many lessons to be learned when it comes to the transition from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers, but none is more important than the single lesson that Ted Thompson taught the world of business owners, CEO’s and middle managers.

Yes moving on is difficult and you can be as delicate and respectful as ever and things still won’t end up quite as expected. But the bottom line Ted Thompson taught everyone is that eventually for a company or organization to move forward someone has to have the guts to make tough, sometimes unpopular, decisions.

Anyone can make easy decisions. Hard decisions that involve major change – especially in leadership structure – are what real leaders do. It’s what real men do who want to be someone. It’s what people do when they want to be the absolute best.

So I guess this is all a little tricky. The lesson learned from Brett Favre is actually taught by Ted Thompson, Mark Murphy, Mike McCarthy and the Packers as an organization.

Be able to make tough unpopular decisions. Trust yourself. Do what’s best for the situation and the company.


It’s all a lot easier said than done. It is said that people tend to make decisions based on emotion and they rationalize their behavior later. While this mainly goes for buying decisions, it’s hard not to realize that emotion plays a role in many of our actions.

I am reminded by the results of Brett Favre’s career that the importance of moving on can be paramount to the success of a person or group.

If Ted Thompson hadn’t made the tough decision to move on … to change, the sports world may have never been properly introduced to Aaron Rodgers.

Imagine where the Packers could be right now if they hadn’t drafted Aaron Rodgers and moved on?

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