Kelly, a quarterback prospect for the 2017 NFL Draft, has off-field and injury concerns but has top-tier talent. Matt Waldman and Sigmund Bloom examine Kelly’s game.
Football is not a corporate boardroom. But for the sake of entertaining this stupid-ass, business analogy that’s common with quarterbacking in the media, let’s go there.
The quarterback is not the CEO of the team. It’s a poor analogy used by football players-turned-commentators who usually lack an ounce of corporate experience beyond getting paid sizable fees to speak at leadership seminars.
The quarterback is the operations manager. He’s on the ground floor getting shit done. Good ops managers possess the academic theory, practical experience, workplace creativity, and emotional intelligence to work as effectively with the suit society upstairs as they do with the grunts in uniform.
If the prospects earning early-round consideration were actual candidates for a job in operations management, I’d have concerns about all of them.
Davis Webb would be the CEO’s son-in-law who will ace the interview and talk a great game in weekly meetings with the director. However, you have a feeling that he’ll always have a fancy way of explaining why shit happens to him and his team rather than actually getting the shit done.
Mitchell Trubisky looks the part and says all the right things in the interview, but you have a sneaking suspicion that he doesn’t know how to delegate. You’ve learned the hard way that no matter how talented a manager is, he’ll fail in big moments and lose his team if he consistently puts too much on himself.
Deshuan Watson is the graduate of a prestigious program who performed well as a summer intern—even earning extra points for excelling on a big stage. You like the potential, but good grades and a first-place trophy in the national collegiate sales competition doesn’t equate to managing your operation from the jump.
You like DeShone Kizer despite the fact that his former employer gave him a tepid recommendation during the reference check. You got the feeling that the employer not only needs some leadership training, but he also failed to recognize the impressive work performed in difficult circumstances. Even so, this candidate may need a year or two as management-in-training to insure that his previous experiences didn’t saddle him with emotional baggage that could hurt your operation moving forward.
If you’re not bullshitting yourself with cover-your-ass decisions, there are only two candidates that truly stand out. One of them is the guy whose resume lacks punch because he spent three years hiking through southeast Asia after graduation and his experience in the industry is limited to a small-time operation.
Although he lacks the depth of experience with the processes that your company uses, his creativity and talent to get shit done has moments that are off-the-charts impressive. Everyone has glowing reviews, but you know it’s going to be a battle to get your VP of HR to sign off of this kid with rough spots and a steep initial learning curve. If you want an employee who could eventually give you record production and boost morale, you fight for Patrick Mahomes and risk the pitfalls.
Then there’s Chad Kelly. He’s almost everything you want from an operations manager during working hours. While he absorbs information a little differently and may require you to adjust how to present it to him, he knows how to fuse theory, practice, and creativity for maximum benefit. He also has the emotional intelligence to know when to push or pull the best from his team.
However, he’s arrogant and intense. His former employers swear by him but warn that if you aren’t a strong leader, he’ll wear you out with his competitive drive. There are additional concerns that his emotional intelligence doesn’t extend to his personal life, which can bleed into his time on the job.
If you’re not bullshitting yourself about the pressure of the job and the likelihood that you’ll be gone if excellence isn’t attained, there are only two choices. And if it weren’t for the self-inflicted wounds Chad Kelly has caused to his career thus far, he’d be at the top of the list.
Kelly is a battler with poise and the skill to work inside and outside structure with flashes of a 10-year NFL veteran. Watch Footballguy Sigmund Bloom discover that revelation that is Kelly’s talent in this RSP Film Room segment in the video at the top of this post.
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