Pershing’s INSITE 2017 conference had many fans this year. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers took the stage for the final session on June 16 in San Diego, wrapping up three days of sessions on leadership, investing, technology and more that drew about 2,000 financial professionals. (Rodgers filled in for tennis star Serena Williams.)
Rodgers, who was interviewed by Pershing Advisor Solutions CEO Mark Tibergien, told the crowd that, “When you play in Titletown, they expect titles. I hope to get back there soon.”
The athlete, who grew up in Northern California, shared that he follows other sports and sports legends carefully. Rodgers said that NBA star Michael Jordan once explained that he drew inspiration “and challenged himself [from] negative things being said” by his critics.
“In business and athletics, you’ve got to be self-motivated and continue to be so,” the NFL player said. “Find [your] sources of motivation and harness them. Never settle. Never. [It's about] continuous improvement.”
The 2011 Super Bowl champ added: “I have a deep personal desire to be great and to have the satisfaction of proving people wrong.” In other words, put that chip on your shoulder to good use.
Other keynote speakers at INSITE, which was held at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, included Jack Lew, former head of the U.S. Treasury; Oscar Salazar, founding CTO of Uber; Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit; Rana el Kaliouby, co-founder and CEO of Affectiva; and Platon, an award-winning portrait photographer.
“The annual INSITE conference is a true testament to BNY Mellon’s investment across the enterprise in our clients’ success,” Pershing CEO Lisa Dolly said in a statement. “This year, we [brought] yet another group of exceptional speakers to offer clients unique insights and the latest thinking on macro trends impacting their business, as well as emerging issues and new technologies that are transforming the industry.”
Tibergien told the crowd during his chat with Rodgers that Sports Illustrated and leadership blogger Brian Dodd have highlighted the following management tips from the quarterback:
Be a continual leader
Always be in control
Create multiple options
Commit to continual personal growth
Be comfortable in your own skin
Always have something to prove
To these nuggets, Rodger added: Be a really good notetaker. He said he is always listening to what the coaches and players say about certain game strategies or plays they like to run. “Be as engaged as they are,” the NFL player said.
The two-time Most Valuable Player also said that being aware of one’s image and public persona at all times is extremely important for leaders. “As the face of the franchise, I don’t want to be in the headlines, be in the wrong place at the wrong time or make the organization look bad,” he explained.
With the ubiquity of technology, “You’ve got to be smart today.” Back in 2005 when he was drafted, “You could get away with [things], which is very different from 2017. Now, the stuff will get out there. … A reputation takes forever to build and one second to get thrown away.”
Succession Planning, Team Work
Rodgers said he is in the process of creating a “post-career plan” for himself. “Seventy-five percent of NFL players are either broke, divorced or unemployed after [they start] retirement, which is alarming. A lot of it, I think, is about taking the time to find a mentor or explore [other] interests,” he explained, adding that the NFL’s off-season programs for players “are great.”
He advises others to “make contacts” and “to have an exit strategy.” To get to know other players, “Today, you have to make a more concerted effort [than in the past] to interact with teammates,” and that means taking time away from smartphones.
Earlier, players used to sit around and play cards, backgammon and other games. “Now, we’re all on [our] phones in the locker room,” Rodgers said.
“It’s key for leaders to be authentic in their style of leadership and to make the effort to get to know” those they work with, he explained. Some younger players are nervous interacting with Rodgers at first, he said, “so then I have to give more of myself to make them comfortable.”