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“What's the worst thing that can happen to a quarterback? He loses his confidence.” - Terry Bradshaw
“What's the worst thing that can happen to a quarterback? He loses his confidence.” - Terry Bradshaw
May 26, 2014 7:00 AM CDT

Game Day Leadership: The difference between play day and game day

Full Contact Project Management


It’s a funny time to talk about football, what with the madness of March basketball having just ended in April, and Major League Baseball underway.

But I can’t help myself. And it’s all the fault of Johnny Football, as the Texas A&M University fans know Johnny Manziel. And here’s why: It’s all about "Pro Day."

You see, Pro Day is this (almost) made-for-television showcase of a prized football recruit as he struts his stuff for scouts of the various pro teams, a few weeks prior to the NFL draft. Various universities hold these for their top pro prospects, which gives the schools a chance to showcase their campuses and programs, as well as a few other good athletes on the team. The scouts watch the players go through their paces, see how high they can jump, check their vertical leaps, see how fast they are in the 40-yard dash, etc.

For most players, this is a moment to shine. They take the stage, grab the spotlight, and do their thing. But not Johnny Football; he is having none of this.

Johnny, a quarterback prospect, showed up doing the unthinkable: He wore his pads and jersey, along with his football helmet. The scouts hardly knew what to do. After all, they were expecting to see football players dressed as gym students. Manziel didn’t see the big deal: "You play the game in shoulder pads on Sundays. Why not come out and do it? For me, it was a no-brainer."

This day distinguished him from others. They are relying upon this day, their agents, and the media to make the case that they are the greatest things since sliced bread.

My question is this: What about Game Day? How was the player under actual game conditions? Could he play well under adversity? If the blocking broke down, could he still make a play? Pro Day doesn’t show this. Game Day does.

A great definition of the word integrity is how someone acts when he thinks no one is looking. Is the athlete’s integrity only visible on Pro Day, or on the Game Day situations of everyday life? “If you’re a quarterback, you want everything on your shoulders. You want to be the one to make the decisions.”- Tom Brady
Evaluating people based upon laboratory situations is often the wrong way to handle decisions, whether that would be in the NFL or on a jobsite.

Marketing can help to make a good player (or a good company) appear to be great. But a company that has a background of doing sloppy work – or hiring less-than-qualified people – will probably never experience greatness. It’ll get found out. Even great marketing and publicity will not overcome that!

As a contractor, you don’t have that luxury. As a matter of fact, I’m hoping you wouldn’t want it: It’s bad for you and bad for our industry. And, never forget, we still have those referees on the field known as inspectors. They’re looking for your cheap shots, poor play calls, sloppy submittals, and promises, rather than performance. You’ll get found out. As an office manager, I knew many years ago, "Everything comes to light."

The MCAA will help you to accomplish many things, but it can’t and won’t do some things, such as excuse mediocrity in any mason contractor. The association expects quality, value and integrity from its members. There is no substitute for integrity. You can try and swap a lower price in place of higher quality. It won’t work. It won’t last. You’ll be found out.

Do what you say. Don’t do what you promised you wouldn’t do. Let your work speak for itself. That’s your real Game Day, and the only one that matters. And that’s how you lead your company.

About the Author

Gary Micheloni is a working project manager, speaker, author, consultant and coach. He has severals years of industry experience, including a background as a licensed general engineering contractor. For further information and insight on the Full Contact Project Management approach, write Coach Gary at


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