Is Zappe the Next Tom Brady?

One of the most important things we are always telling executives is “always be ready.” It doesn’t matter if you’re in active job search or not; you have always got to be ready for your Next Great Next to present itself. There’s no telling opportunity, “Hold on. I need to update my resume, touch base with my network so that they have my fresh talking points, and I need to practice articulating my unique value… then I can meet with you.”

In the NFL, the poster boy for being ready and making the most of an opportunity is Tom Brady. Many are wondering if lightning has struck the Patriots twice after the debut of their rookie QB Baily Zappe. Starter Mac Jones was not going to suit up due to an injury and the backup was knocked out in the first quarter with a concussion. That left QB3: 2022 4th round pick Bailey Zappe from Western Kentucky University. He had a decent college career, and was drafted two rounds earlier than Brady, but not exactly who you had in mind to face future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodger at Lambeau Field.

Bailey threw for a touchdown and navigated the game all the way to overtime. They came up short in the end, like most do against Rodgers, but he has Patriots Nation wondering, “Do we have the next Tom Brady?”

When I was watching the game, I couldn’t help but think the same thing, and I found myself marveling: The NFL, executives… it doesn’t matter. You’ve got to always be ready for your opportunity.

Obviously, being ready at the executive level is different than being ready to play QB. For executives, we suggest:

  • Having your value story ready to be told at all times.
  • Having personal marketing collateral that’s aligned with your value story.
  • Having both strong and weak network ties ready celebrate who you are and why you matter.

Of course, there is more to it than just these three lines, but these are foundational concepts that we share with those executives we work with to reach their Next Great Next. If you’d like to explore them further, reach out to me. You want to make sure you’re ready when your big chance comes!

Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson is ExecuNet's president and chief economist. An Arjay Miller Scholar, Mark received his MBA from Stanford University and a BA in economics from Yale University. He joined ExecuNet in 1993, with extensive marketing and new product and business development experience, having served as president and founder of A&M Associates, an investment management firm. Mark's corporate leadership experience includes several senior marketing and financial positions with RCA Global Communications (a GE subsidiary) and American Can Company.

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