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E228: From NFL player to true leadership wisdom with Bennie Fowler

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Bennie Fowler offers executive and leadership coaching. He played in the NFL for eight years and was part of Super Bowl 50 for the Denver Broncos. He had a chance to play with greats such as Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees.

Episode highlights:

  • What happened when Bennie was cut twice in the same season.
  • How Bennie’s outlook on the potential for disappointment has evolved.
  • How perspective changes your reality.
  • What is true wisdom?
  • What happens when you become an “accidental leader”.
  • What first step you can take to get some perspective on how you lead.
  • On honoring boundaries and avoiding burnout.
  • How to have those hard conversations.
  • Best advice: You have to go through it to get to it.
  • Habit that contributes to success: My routine
  • Recommended tool: Headspace for meditation
  • Recommended book: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma
  • Run time: 33:10



  • “What if the NFL doesn’t come calling back?” 
  • “I have so much life to live and sports is just a part of it.”
  • “I was just living on a superficial level.”
  • “You will determine your character by how you handle those failures.”
  • “We always want to look at the positives in life, but it’s good to look at the negatives.”
  • “It’s not ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ – it’s ‘temperature’.”
  • “If you have to go through the situation again, how are you going to handle it? You’re going to handle it with so much more grace.”
  • “True wisdom is being able to recognize it super quickly and move on.”
  • “Oh crap, I’m a leader!”
  • “They’re leaders – they’re leading themselves.”
  • “You can always work on skills.”


  • Look at both sides of your career: success and failures. What did you learn?
  • You’re human. You’re going to react, and sometimes poorly, to tough situations. But, then what?
  • Burnout is a choice. You need boundaries to be productive.



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