It's not every day that you get to hang out with the father of two Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks and still make it to work on time.
That was the case Thursday morning in Billings, when Archie Manning entertained a crowd of 1,500-plus at Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark during the 50th annual Billings Chamber of Commerce/Visitors Bureau Salespersons' Breakfast.
The former NFL quarterback and the father of current NFL quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning spoke to the crowd of local business leaders about personal success in all facets of life, with the primary message of three ways we can all become better leaders.
“Whatever walk of life you’re in … whether you’re an athlete, a businessperson or a parent, leadership is so important,” said Manning. “No obstacle is so tough that it can’t be overcome by good leadership.”
The 64-year-old Manning intertwined his message of three ways to become a better leader — think like a leader, set goals like a leader, and act like a leader — with amusing stories of his sons and his own college and NFL career, as well as what it’s like to be “more famous for being Peyton and Eli’s daddy.”
Manning said he was honored last October to be selected as one of 13 members of the inaugural College Football Playoff Selection Committee — along with the likes of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and legendary Nebraska coach Tom Osborne.
“It’s truly an honor for me, and it’s a big job,” said Manning. “I was honored to be picked not only because of the people that were doing the selection process, but also because of the other people that were picked to be on it.
You have free articles remaining.
“They’re going to put us to work. We’re ultimately going to pick four teams to be in the playoff, and that means there’s going to be a lot of very good teams who get left out. Picking the right four teams is a big job and it’s going to be a lot of work, but I’m honored to do it and I look forward to it.”
During his 29 minutes at the podium, Manning also stressed that having two sons who are superstar athletes "does not make me an expert on parenting by any means."
"Parenting is tougher today than it ever has been ... there are a lot of things out there hitting kids in the face," added Manning. "It's so important today for parents to encourage their children and reinforce to them that if their priorities are in order, they can overcome all the obstacles that face them and do great things."
Manning pointed to obstacles such as the career-ending spinal injury suffered by his oldest son, Cooper, during his freshman season at Mississippi; and the four neck surgeries that nearly ended Peyton’s career after the 2010 season.
“The question is not whether you will face adversity, the question is what will you do when you do face adversity,” he said. “You have to decide, will you get bitter or will you get better … will you overcome it or will it overcome you.
“The bigger the challenge, the greater the opportunity for success. That’s true in football and every other walk of life.”