Jeremy Weisz 8:04
I wonder if it’s legal for me to clip that into the beginning of this interview? I don’t know who owns you. Do we have that clip somewhere? No, I don’t know. Yeah. I probably have it on my phone. I’m gonna have to find it. Yeah, you know, people use it. I love it. I love that. visualization is if an infant baby is hauled into the air, I get
Bennie Fowler 8:28
it, but baby’s being taught to you make sure to catch it and cradle it. That’s exactly how I caught that ball.
Jeremy Weisz 8:34
You know, in your coaching practice, too. You talk a lot about mindset. And in that moment when he I didn’t realize he had said to you, okay, this is I’m going to you on this. What are you thinking there? Don’t miss this. There’s a lot of I mean, there’s a lot of pressure, um, displays a lot of pressure.
Bennie Fowler 8:56
I think one of the things that I talk about when I’m working with executives and leaders is presence. And when you when you’re playing with a guy like Peyton, who has such extreme poise, instruct extreme presence. It doesn’t you’d I never felt depression when I was playing with him because he made the things easier. So if you’re a CEO of you’re leading your company, and you’re a small business owner, even a major C suite, your employees are feeding off of your presence. And I was feeding off of Payton’s presence. He wasn’t frantic. He didn’t feel the pressure. So neither did I. That’s what
Jeremy Weisz 9:36
you sense his calmness a bit. When in that moment, he wasn’t like, Bennie Don’t mess this up. I’m gonna throw it to you. He was really calm and collected and had the poise so that that just basically kind of went to how you were too.
Bennie Fowler 9:51
Yeah, absolutely. And when I talked to entrepreneurs about certain things, I mentioned poise and when I mentioned poise, its purpose optimistic. intention, strategic and effective and that’s what makes those five characteristics that make a great leader. And great leaders we always talk about great athletes are great leaders in business. They always have this point, this poise, or this calmness where they don’t seem to get rattled. That’s what Peyton, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Eli. That’s what they all possess is a certain amount of poise. They know why they’re out there. They’re optimistic they see it. They have intention when they do things. They’re strategic, and they’re effective. They’re consistent all the time. So poise is something that I talk about a lot with my executives.
Jeremy Weisz 10:38
So did you come up with that acronym? That’s pretty good. I like that. Yes. Okay. Dan Kuschell because like he could rattle off like, acronyms like, like no one I’ve ever you know, been with so I like the poise. One, that’s good one. That’s maybe your next book.
Bennie Fowler 10:54
Maybe. Yeah. You know, effective leadership.
Jeremy Weisz 10:57
Yeah. So despite saying that, I’m thinking of this, I’m, I’m sweating underneath this shirt, thinking about this moment. Okay. What else is going through your head?
Bennie Fowler 11:11
gratitude. The fact that I’m playing in the Super Bowl, like, you know, this is what all kids dream of, this is what I had dreamed of, in the backyard. This is what I had dreamed of when I was going through injuries at Michigan State. like to take this all in like I’m playing in the Super Bowl, you know, walking out of the, out of the stadium that day walking onto the field, you know, you’re seeing the Beyonce Jay Z’s, the Bruno Mars, you know, these people are performing at halftime, you see all these incredible celebrities, Tom Cruise all these people on the sidelines, it’s just like, wow, like, I’m really here. So it was just a it was a gratitude moment that first of all, that’s a second year player. I’m on the field at the end of the game in the super bowl with a quarterback who’s been playing for 18 years. And I probably had the least amount of experience in that huddle. I think I was I was a second year player, everybody else had to be a year, at least six or seven years in
Jeremy Weisz 12:06
the gratitude part was going through your mind and not that part. Like, wait, I’m the least experienced player, you know. So it sounds like you were able to float, you’re able to channel the energy of the poise around you and that you focused on the gratitude piece, which I could see if you focus on that. As opposed to wait, I’m the least experienced in this huddle. Why What are they doing?
Bennie Fowler 12:28
Now? I definitely wasn’t thinking no way they do it. But yeah, definitely the gratitude part, you have to be thankful. And then when you’re being thankful when you can’t express gratitude and be fearful at the same time. So definitely choose to express gratitude over fear.
Jeremy Weisz 12:42
Yeah, you know, what’s what’s also amazing about that is, you were undrafted. The moment that you were actually made the team talk about that for a second.
Bennie Fowler 12:56
Yeah, that was a long time coming, I would say because, you know, my first year in the NFL, I was on practice squad and really learned from Peyton Manning and Demaryius Thomas Emmanuel Sanders, Wes Welker, who’s now my receivers coach in San Francisco, you know, learning from these these incredible players. My second year going into training camp, you know, I really put in the effort and time, I had moved out to LA that offseason and really put in a lot of work, I had to dedicate myself I spent most of the money that I earned for my practice squad year on my training going into that next year. So I didn’t really give my self an option to fail. So the third game comes around and the third game is or not the fourth game comes around. That’s where the young guys are playing majority of the snaps. You know, the veterans are getting ready for the season opener the following week. So I’m playing the entire game, I have to play this game to make the team and I go out there and I have seven catches for 75 yards and all of that offseason work the affirmations the believing in myself working on myself confidence working on working on my self image, self esteem had really paid off. And it was it was incredible moment. I remember my receiver coach calling me and saying hey, man, sorry, we’re gonna have to die. Just kidding. And that’s a
Jeremy Weisz 14:14
terrible thing to do. So I was
Bennie Fowler 14:16
like, I told him man, don’t play with me like that, like I knew because I knew I did everything to to make the team so I wasn’t really worried about that. But the fact that he did call me and mess with me like that was crazy. But Gary Kubiak called me and it was just a dream come true. Because as an undrafted player, it’s it’s hard to make the 53 man roster right out right out of the gate or right out of training camp and I was fortunate enough to do that. And you know, that’s a chip that I carry on my shoulder every single day. And that’s why I’m you know, going into my eighth years because I understand what it takes to work and I’m always going to outwork people.
Jeremy Weisz 14:55
One thing that strikes me what you said Bennie is, you know, spending your money On the training and the coaches, right? You know, it’s funny in the business world, in the in the sports world, we wouldn’t think about not having coaches. I mean, there’s a coach for quarterbacks coach has a wide receivers coach, there’s a defensive coach, you’re often the name, it is a coach for everything. In the business world, it’s so important to have mentors and coaches on various aspects. I’m wondering, from you, what are the type of coaches that you’ve used? Um, you know, could be like a health, nutrition or mindset, talk about some of the coaches that you have utilized over the years. For now,
Bennie Fowler 15:36
Yeah, I always have no, I have a couple of different trainers, I have a guy that I work with, usually on just receiver work in the offseason, then I have somebody that worked with in the weight room and conditioning, I have a couple of different massage therapists, I have a nutritionist for my food and supplements. And then I have a mindset coach and a peak performance coach. And I’m not working with those people every single day. It’s it’s, they’re different, you know, maybe bi weekly, maybe once a month, but you know, we’re performing at the top level. And in business, coaching and mentorship is extremely important. And, you know, for me starting my business, especially while I’m playing, I’ve needed mentors, like Dan, and you know, my father, who is vice president of Ford for, you know, 10, year 10 plus years, you need those mentors, you need those, those coaches, and it’s not necessarily to tell you what to do, but it’s how to help you perform. The receiver coach, some of you know a lot of the coaches in the NFL, I would say at least 50% of them have never played the NFL snap. So they’re not there to tell you like, Hey, you should do it this way. But hey, these are the standards, how are you performing? They’re supposed to help you perform better. And that’s why I wanted to get into executive and leadership coaching. That’s why and that’s why I’ve seen dramatic results with the leaders that I’ve been working with. It’s not to tell them what to do in their business. How can you do it better? Are you just are you just hitting the standards? Are you just hitting goals that you know, you can hit? What would it be like to have a breakthrough goal? What’s it like to have that presence? What’s it like to have all your employees put in extra hours without you having to tell them to do it? I think that’s important leadership, especially in the NFL, is the most unique leadership. And that’s why I want to bring that to the business world because it’s 53 different businesses out there on a Sunday trying to win one game. Everybody has a different lifestyle. They are different salaries in different tiers of players. There are Hall of Fame players. There’s an undrafted players like myself, role players, there are starters, their first round pick second round picks, but how do we all come together to win this game on Sundays? And I’ve been a part of some great teams, I’ve been a part of some bad teams, and it usually comes from the top down. And it leadership is super important on all those teams, and not just coaches, not just owners and CEOs, but the players. How are the players on different teams? So if you’re in a business, how are all the creatives or the creatives on the same floor? As you know, people like the analytical people? Are they getting into it? You know, usually you’d like to have the creatives on one floor like I you know, me being on offense, I don’t expect to be in a defensive meeting. So you don’t want your creatives in there with your analytical people, they just butt heads or you know, there’s not just as much energy. So those are certain things like that, that we go in and we assess and then we look at how are the teams communicate and how is the leadership? You know, some teams some leaders that I’ve worked with, don’t necessarily always want to do a 360 feedback assessment, but that’s the most important the feedback the eye in the sky doesn’t lie. And that’s one of the things that we use as a football term is that the film doesn’t lie. So the 360 feedback assessment won’t lie. your your your employees will be telling you what how they perceive you and how they look at your leadership style. And then we can develop a plan from there but I don’t like to just develop a plan from what you think you need to work on. I
Jeremy Weisz 19:05
love it. You know, I want to hear some of the lessons you’ve learned you’ve had a lot of amazing colleagues mentors. And I want to start with you know, since we were talking about Peyton Manning, there is a moment when you first were in the locker room, which kind of shows the leader that he is in was we talked about that for a second.
Bennie Fowler 19:29
Yeah, so it was you know my first my first day there in April right after the draft we go there you know we’re the bus picks us up from the Hyatt House Hotel here in Denver, and we’re walking into the facility and you know everybody’s nervous, everybody’s got their headphones on it’s just like man wreck we’re really in the NFL but you know walk in and you just take it in this the scenery and stopping by the calf you meet the the chefs and And then you know go to the the equipment room and you get paid for your helmet, you get your jersey shoulder pads. And then you know you got your box and your cleats and you’re walking to your locker and then I see my locker and I’m putting some things away in my locker and acting like I’m a little busy. And then then he walks in from the opposite side. And it’s there it is. It’s it’s Peyton. It’s like, wow. He’s you know, he’s two lockers from me, you know, because I was 16 he were 18 two lockers for me. He has two lockers. He’s got like his football stuff in one locker. And he’s got his khakis and polos and notebooks and other locker and like, only player in there with two lockers. He comes up to me and says, Hey, man, you know, you know, welcome to the team. My name is paint. I’m just like, what? Yeah, I know exactly who you are your guy from the nationwide commercials. And, you know, he’s just kidding. But the fact that he came up to me that day, it showed a lot to me in terms of who he was as a person, obviously, I knew who he was. Everybody knows who Peyton was even even if you really don’t watch football, you just see him all over the place. So the fact that he came up to me and he treated me normal, and like he was normal. Like, you know, and he made me feel a part of a team, I glad to have you here can’t wait to work with you. made me want to run through a wall for this guy. And it’s because of that type of leadership, him being authentic him being personable him having that presence that I talked about earlier. I just think it’s so important. And it’s I think it’s one of the reasons why. Who knows that I could have caught his last pass, you know, just made that little moment right there. And the extra work that I put in to learn his playbook, learn his signals, learn his codes, to understand him better. So I could be in the right spot to catch a passage from him. That was one of the most incredible moments him coming up to me that day. We just kept a little khaki shorts on and golf Polo.
Jeremy Weisz 21:55
It makes it it sets the tone for culture. You know, when a leader like that comes in, in a humble way. Right? And same thing in business, right? If there’s a CEO executive that you’re working with, you know, doing the same thing. I mean, it’s really translates across business. Also. There’s a there’s another one, you know, I know your dad is a big, you know, mentor for you. There’s there’s a point where talk about your dad, and then how Ben Wallace factors in to a lesson your dad taught you. How Ben Wallace, huh? Yeah. Do you know what I’m talking about? There was where he took you around? I think he showed you Ben Wallace’s, his house or something like that?
Bennie Fowler 22:48
Oh, yeah. And he said, Yeah, he said that, you know, you don’t have to be an athlete to make a million dollars. We live on the same street. Yeah. Yeah, my dad is just, my dad has always laid the foundation. And he’s definitely I wouldn’t say a mentor. But he’s just an example of what I want to be as a man and who I want to be and just, you know, growing up in his house, and being around him all the time, he just set the example to me, my brother, my sisters on what the definition of hard work is, you know, my days, take my brother and I work when he was just a plant manager at Ford, take us to work on Saturdays, just for a couple hours. And, you know, we drive around the plane seeing the cars actually being made on the assembly line at at Ford Motor Company, and then to see him rise to the Vice President of Ford, CEO of Jaguar and Land Rover, to see that evolution of business especially as it as a black man in, in this world was incredible. But yeah, he he did put us in he get, you know, we got into the car, and then Joe around a corner. And we saw being out there who is also a mentor of mine in terms of sports, we actually just talk to yesterday. You know, we rode by his house, and he did he wants to he wanted to stress the importance of education, and that you don’t have to be an athlete to make a million dollars in that. You don’t have to be an athlete to live like that. And I think that’s, that holds true to this. To this day, you know, some of the most wealthy people that I know, are not athletes. So I want that. That’s a lesson for the kids especially who pick up my book. And for the kids in college like you know, yes, making it to their pros. Yes, you got something you want to do. But if you have other dreams, other aspirations, especially if you’re going after money, and money does bring a lot of things, especially like freedom, that you don’t have to just go and do it through sports. Sports is just another vehicle or a tool to do that. But there are so many different ways and being an entrepreneur, working at a different company getting your education for whatever school you go to go to Michigan State but you know, yeah, thank you so many different so many different ways that you can earn a living.
Jeremy Weisz 24:57
What was no he showed you that and kind of taught you that lesson. Your dream as it is a kid.
Bennie Fowler 25:08
Right? was not even not even a kid. That’s still is my dream to be in the NBA. Yes, yes. Still is my dream I wear NBA socks and every NFL game I’ve ever played in every NFL practice I’ve ever I’ve ever practiced in NBA socks. You know, I just wanted to be like Kobe Bryant. I wanted to be like the late great Kobe Bryant. He was my favorite athlete. And just the way he went about things, his charisma, his mindset, I just loved the fact that he would shoot the ball with two people, three people on him, but he had no fear of, of anything. And that’s what it seemed like. And that’s something that I’ve always admired about Kobe Bryant and you know, I had all his shoes from the data as to the Nike shoes. Kobe Bryant is one of the reasons why I want to be an NBA basketball player.
Jeremy Weisz 26:07
Yeah, I want to talk about you know, that dream at some point, it never went away. But you also then had another dream, right, which is football but who is who is a favorite Detroit basketball player that you looked up to or liked.
Bennie Fowler 26:28
You know, been I was always around Ben. Ben Wallace. I was always around she rip and Chauncey. But you know, Joe do Mars is you know, I was really great friends with his son, you know, great friends with his son, Jordan. So I was always in the in the do Mars household who was was a bad boy. And in the bad boy airs and played against Mike and to watch him go about his business as an executive for the pistons, but also didn’t get to see the highlights, but didn’t get to see who he was as a man was, was awesome. And being in Jody’s house and seeing the way that you know, professional athletes live. That’s where I got the real taste of what professional athletes got to live, like, see what their life was like, he brought the pistons around us and I got a chance to be around those guys. Especially at an impressionable age, such as high school. That was such an awesome thing to see. So, you know, being in his household was also also great at the same time in high school.
Jeremy Weisz 27:28
Is he still with the pistons?
Bennie Fowler 27:30
Jody? Yeah. Now? He’s with Sacramento, Sacramento. He does. Yeah, he’s in the front office at Sacramento. Okay. Yeah.
Jeremy Weisz 27:37
Yeah. I mean, me being from Chicago, there are many years where there was a big, you know, we couldn’t beat the pistons for many years. You know, Jody was on those teams. The last dance? Yeah. So, football. What I find interesting about your story to Bennie is that, oh, Bennie, he was probably playing football and he never stopped playing football. He was playing from when he was a kid all the way up. But you didn’t play until junior year.
Bennie Fowler 28:11
Two years, I played a little league.
Jeremy Weisz 28:13
Well, you played Little League, but you didn’t play in high school. You didn’t play until junior year,
Bennie Fowler 28:17
right? Yeah, no, I didn’t want to be I was all focused on basketball. I was doing some track. That was my second sport. So you’re required to play two sports at our high school. And I was doing basketball and I was doing track and you know, football wasn’t even even crossing my mind.
Jeremy Weisz 28:33
What changed junior year.
Bennie Fowler 28:36
You know, I had a friend some friends john gray k demons, two highly recruited the most highly recruited probably athletes, football athletes in probably our school’s history. You know, Jonas went to Notre Dame and played running back Kenny demons was a five star linebacker that played at the University of Michigan. So those two guys, you know, we had some good we had some good talent. They’re like, man, come out for the team, come on the team, we can use your speed. You know, don’t saw what you’re
Jeremy Weisz 29:02
doing on the track field in the basketball court, and they wanted you to play.
Bennie Fowler 29:06
They wanted me to play but they couldn’t convince me. So I told my mom one day and my mom was like, yeah, you should you should go out there and play. And I was like, What? Like, how many moms are out there encouraging their sons to go out and play a game where their son gets hit, and I mean, hit hard. But you know, sometimes in life, that’s what happens. People give you a different perspective. And my mom gave me a different perspective. But she had the confidence in me which ultimately led to me having competence on the field and I went out there, my junior year and played a little bit. Then I broke my collarbone and I was super upset with my mom that was like, This is why I didn’t play. Why didn’t want to play. Six weeks after that, and hills up, semifinal game, we run a hook and ladder play and that scored the game winning touchdown to go to the state championship. And that led to some colleges coming after me and then I went to some college camps and then I got scholarships to You know, Eastern Michigan was the first scholarship offer I got after the Oakland County track meet I ran sub 1100 meters and they offered me that I went to Toledo there cam and got an offer. Then I got an offer from Michigan State in Indiana. And then it was like, okay, like I can really go to college for this. I’m going to college for free. went up to the University of Michigan to visit and didn’t didn’t really like it didn’t drive well committed to Michigan State next day.
Jeremy Weisz 30:29
Were you worried about your basketball career? Is that why one of the reasons you didn’t want to go play football, getting injured for basketball?
Bennie Fowler 30:38
I wasn’t worried about that. getting injured. I was just that I wanted to pour my time into basketball. Yeah. And that’s what a lot of my friends were doing my lot of my friends, my even my brother, you know, he was a basketball player. So it was just like, that’s what I want to do. And then when you got your favorite athletes playing basketball, that’s what you want to do, too. I wasn’t really watching football games like that. I mean, you know, my dad would take us to Lions game, but I wasn’t really paying attention to the player, so to speak.
Jeremy Weisz 31:07
And lessons from your brother, because your brother had some early on. injuries he had to overcome.
Bennie Fowler 31:16
Yeah, my brother is one of the most incredible humans I’ve ever come across. That’s reason why I dedicated my book to him. You know, my brother, my brother’s my hero, when he tore his ACL when you think he was 11 years old for the first time. And it’s almost impossible to tear your ACL when you’re 11 years old, but, you know, a freak accident like that. But you know, he really taught me what happened. Just football, football, practice football, he got injured in football. Oh, my God, I just got tackled the wrong way. It’s probably one of the reason why I want
Jeremy Weisz 31:48
really Yeah, exactly.
Bennie Fowler 31:50
But you know, he just got tackled the wrong way. But he taught me about perseverance, going through adversity, never giving up. And to see him go through those injuries at such a young age and to fight back. And to tear his ACL two more times after that. And still earn a scholarship to Central Michigan, become a three time captain, lead them to a Mac championship, and then also go to play overseas is just one of the most incredible things that I’ve gotten to witness, you know, as we’ve grown together, and now he’s going to be, you know, leading young man as he is as a coach at Northern Arizona University right now, in Flagstaff, he just, he’s just one of the most incredible people. He just never gave up his mindset. He helped me develop my mindset, in terms of being stronger in terms of putting in the work because I’ve always had a natural talent and a natural ability about him. He’s had to work and overcome so many different things. He really taught me the importance of working and working with detail working with intent, working with focus.
Jeremy Weisz 32:56
Why did you call it Silver Spoon
Bennie Fowler 33:00
because I’m from the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, and I grew up in Bloomfield Hills. I grew up in a great home, I had great family around me. And then you know, on podcast, like you said, there’s there, you know, we talk about a lot of failures, in athletes on ESPN, ABC, whatever these athletes were, you know, wherever these sporting events are, it’s always, it’s always a crazy story about somebody coming from poverty to achieve this height. In their sport, well, I didn’t come from poverty, but I still had to work and I still had to earn the scholarship I still had to muster when I drafted like, none of that mattered. I still had to put in the countless amount of hours like it’s, it’s still the 1%. But that story never gets told. So Silver Spoon and you know, people think that everything was given people think that everything is given to you just because of kind of the way you grew up. Or if you grew up with, you know, your parents in your life, or if you grow up with, you know, in a nice home that everything’s given to you. And that’s not the way I grew up at all. And I want people to understand that. And that’s why I put different people in throughout my book, who have different stories, who didn’t grow up like me, but had the same principles as me in terms of working hard discipline, goals, setting, handling adversity, handling success, being yourself, surrounding yourself with the right people. So that’s why I called the Silver Spoon.
Jeremy Weisz 34:26
Yeah. And I know another colleague, friend, mentor, I love to hear lesson from Draymond Green. What have you learned from him?
Bennie Fowler 34:38
Well, I learned so much from Draymond in terms of being authentic number one, I mean, he’s always going to speak his mind, but when he’s talking, he knows exactly what he’s talking about. He’s researching. He’s doing the research. So him being authentic, but just just his work ethic. He’s just so he’s a great friend he’s a he’s somebody that you need in terms of telling the truth he now he’s not going to sugarcoat anything and if you’re looking for you know things to be sugar coated or things to be looked over passed over well then he you know, that’s not the friend that you want to bring around and sometimes you know, man like Draymond’s gonna bring this up and you kind of you need that friend that’s what good friendship is all about. Right You know, it’s about being there and supporting but also you said this is your goal. So I’m gonna hold you accountable to your goal
Jeremy Weisz 35:34
How did you meet
Bennie Fowler 35:36
We met Plan A you so we met plan for the family, but we also met through Jordan do Mars who the Son of God Mars, we met dad through through him and then we all played on the same AAU basketball travel team and then Dre, Maya and I both went up to Michigan State and that’s when we really became really really good friends and really close and you know, we’ve been friends and close ever since.
Jeremy Weisz 35:58
You still practice basketball wise?
Bennie Fowler 36:02
Oh, you asked me to shoot around. Oh, yeah. I’m always gonna love the sport. But, you know, being around him bringing around my brother, especially when I’m always around my brother. You know, we’ll always shoot around if I didn’t go to the gym at Northern Arizona like, hey, let’s go to the gym. I want to go get some shots up or I want to go shoot the ball a little bit. You know, he’d like that. let that go. I’m like, I’m never letting go. So no, my brother and I always go to the gym. And we’re always we’re always playing.
Jeremy Weisz 36:29
You’ve played with some amazing quarterbacks. Obviously. You mentioned Peyton Manning. I love to hear a few lessons from because you play with Tom Brady, Eli Manning, and Drew Brees and in what was really interesting, too is that Drew Brees when the saints were looking at you vouched for you? What did he What did he say about you?
Bennie Fowler 36:53
He just knew I was gonna, the way I went about the game. He knew my work ethic, you know, you don’t get to my position in the NFL, especially as an undrafted guy without doing the dirty work and doing things the right way all the time. So that’s what he saw. So he came out here during the pandemic last year to work out with Emmanuel Sanders. They had just signed Emmanuel Sanders, who was a teammate of mine for four years in Denver. So he came out here to work out he manually manual was like, hey, just, you know, we need we need an extra body just to catch him some extra balls, you know, I don’t want to just be running out here by myself. So I was like, Okay, I’ll come by and like, I’ll get a chance to catch Drew. And I was like, if I appraise Drew, he’ll easily call he has enough pool to call the coaches in, in the staff. So we get about three routes in injuries, like, Who are you with right now? Like, I’m a free agent, because everything’s kind of shut down. Because the world is shut down. And he’s like, on call him, I’m gonna call Mickey and Shawn right after this. And I’m like, okay, we’ll see. And then he really did and then you know, my agent called me He’s like, man, Drew, you, whatever you did, whatever you impressed, Drew with in terms of your route runner, you did it, like, you know, they want to bring you in at first they were gonna, you know, work me out and see, but then they just, they just kind of sign me based off of off of Drew Brees, and what he said, and I think that just is a testament to me always being ready. Yeah. And, you know, I really, I really appreciated that. It’s just, you never know who’s watching. My mom always says that you never know who’s who’s watching. And that was an opportunity, I could have easily said, Nah, you know, he, I don’t want to go out there. You know, it’s pandemic right now. But, you know, when opportunity knocks, it’s too late to prepare.
Jeremy Weisz 38:30
Yeah, some random, you know, opportunity, you just seize it. What did he see Bennie in the route running in that short period of time? What was he seeing? That he’s like, oh, wow, what this is, I gotta make a call.
Bennie Fowler 38:47
I would say the crisp crispness of the routes, you know, you know, just meeting him. And maybe me being a bigger guy getting in and out of my breaks, I would say, but then also the way I talk about the game. And, you know, I can still recall some of the plays and concepts of pain. And he had mentioned a couple of concepts, you know, that he and you know, that he learned from Peyton and things like that, and I can still put the names to them, and hey, you know, the hats off this. And then he was like, Oh, you’re on it. He’s a student. Yeah, absolutely. So he could see that I, you know, conceptually understand what needs to go on what needs to take place within a play on an offense how to and just how to be a pro. That’s one of the things you know, even when I got started with San Francisco this year, and you know, they said, you know, you’re a guy that we would never have to worry about, you just you know, how to be a pro and they, you know, you have to come in here and set an example. And I think that my name carries weight in the NFL in terms of doing that, especially being an undrafted. Like I’m always gonna harp on that. Because undrafted players don’t make it to eight years. I mean, you know, you have your unicorns like the like a Welker rod Smith who play you know, 12 14 years, but there’s something that I have to be doing right all the time to play this long.
Jeremy Weisz 40:08
Yeah, there’s something to be said about having people on or in an organization and in the locker room, just like true teammates that are going to set an example, mentor show, you know, lead by example. And having those people we’ve all been on teams that have those people that it’s like, there’s this, you know, this just unsaid leadership about just doing what needs to be done. Right. So yeah, what did you learn? Are there any other lessons, you know, from Drew Brees, just from
Bennie Fowler 40:45
being Team A? Yeah, I would say his preparation is second to none. You know, his preparation is, is some of the most incredible work that I’ve ever seen, you know, even on a Saturday before the game, we’re playing on Sunday, he will start at the one yard line in the indoor facility when everybody leaves and he will go through to every down 100 yards in terms of every yard, he’ll do a new play, and just go through the motions of the play and see where everybody’s supposed to be in visualize each play and complete each pass. I mean, it’s just you know, and I think that’s just incredible. The way he went about his work, and just he was on point he was always trying to be on point he wants to be perfect. In every practice every throwing, that’s why he’s most accurate quarterback of all time.
Jeremy Weisz 41:37
What about Tom Brady? What did you What did you see had lessons? Yeah,
Bennie Fowler 41:43
yeah, he’s just a fierce competitor, even one on ones. He’s, he wants to compete in anything and everything. And I was only there for, you know, a short time, you know, in one week, because they traded for somebody else. And then that’s when I signed with New York. You know, but you know, what I saw in that week showed me who exactly who he was for the last, you know, 1920 years of competitor taking care of his body. his attention to detail.
Jeremy Weisz 42:07
What about Eli Manning? Said, because you play with Peyton, right, and
Bennie Fowler 42:14
now you’re playing with Eli. Yeah, he just like set the example. He like set an example. But he also showed the importance of teammates and camaraderie. He wasn’t he was one of those guys just like paid like I mentioned about pain. He treated everybody the same. And you know, you will see, and he had lunch with everybody. And you know, the lads were the most incredible storytellers. But he’s an incredible worker. I mean, he works incredibly hard. I mean, Stan, after practice, and he’s helping nurture guys. And he nurtured Daniel Jones in my last year in New York. But, you know, I, I give him a lot of credit, even for a lot of success that Odell Beckham had early in his career. You know, Dale’s first 500 catches in the league all came from Eli. So that’s a testament to quarterback and receiver play.
Jeremy Weisz 43:00
I want to talk, you know, Bennie, about the methodology, when you go into an organization, and talk about where you start, and some of the things that you do with an organization how you assess and in kind of set goals with them.
Bennie Fowler 43:18
Yeah, if I’m working with leaders, and starts with 360, assess assessment, and I want to talk to 10 or 12 closest people and even if you are, if you have enough strength, then I would love to ask your spouse as well as your spouse, if you haven’t. If you haven’t, if you haven’t, if you have enough strength mentally to handle it, ask your spouse also for you know, their first of all,
Jeremy Weisz 43:47
I love the approach on that, Bennie, because if you ask like, Whatever, let’s say, high powered CEO, if you say do you have the strength? What are they gonna say? Of course I do. So that’s such a great way of framing it to someone, right?
Bennie Fowler 44:02
Yes. Yes, definitely do a 360 assessment. And if we’re, if we’re working on leadership, and we’re working on presence or productivity, you know, there’s certain things not everything is all the same. So it’s, everything is a tailor made approach. If I’m working with teams, you know, what do we what do we want to work on communication? And, you know, the effectiveness goals in terms of sales, marketing, you know, operations, there’s so many different things, but I like to get an assessment. I always start with an assessment. You know, I started how I would start, you know, my offseason program going into a season Okay, what do I need to get better at? What do I think I need to get better at and then what are the numbers and data telling me, and then we come up and construct a plan from there. And then we go from there, and then it’s, it’s coaching, it’s setting up relationships to help they get better. I would say it’s a different approach. I can’t really say that it’s a Hey, this is how we’re following it. But it always, it’s always gonna start with that assessment, you have to this will lead
Jeremy Weisz 45:05
wherever it goes. And that will probably point to things. Like you said, if you just ask the person that’s different from asking the people in the organization, because the person may say one thing, and then the ill, there’s other people are gonna say other things.
Bennie Fowler 45:22
Right? So So I’ve, you know, if it’s just working with one person, you know, we can go through like, the GPS Method, which is, you know, my online course that I created, which is goal setting, plus purpose equals your success, but that’s just like, you know, a baseline thing. And then you have the poise model where we can come up with, you know, where’s your purpose? Where’s the mindset? Where’s the intention? How do we become strategic? How do we become effective? I think there’s other things within that within my organization, and what I do and and how I kind of work with people, but no, I have all the leadership tools team tools, to to be successful and actually going to coactive also done some leadership development and training. So it’s not like I’m just using football terminology. I’m actually certified in all of this work.
Jeremy Weisz 46:09
Yeah. Who are ideal people that work with you companies or clients?
Bennie Fowler 46:16
I would say I love working with emerging leaders. I love working with C suites, I think there’s always a room to get better, the biggest room in the world is room for improvement. So like I said, I don’t want to just come into an organization and say, Hey, this is the method you need to adopt this, or Hey, I don’t want to just come in there and give a motivational talk and tell stories. I want to implement things and implementation takes time. So I like to challenge people like okay, for the next month, like what, what is communication? What is great communication look like in this next month? And how do we know that’s being performed? What is increasing? What is doubling our sales look like? Okay, hey, we want to hit this sales number. Now, is that just a sales number that you want to hit? because that’ll make you feel good. But what’s what’s a stretch goal to to make everybody come want to come to work? How do you have better talent retention? How do you keep your employees engaged, because employees are just leaving? work or, you know, everybody wants to be an entrepreneur now? So how do you keep your employees engaged? how, you know, I think there’s so many different things in terms of, you know, where this could go. Yeah.
Jeremy Weisz 47:27
Bennie, last question, first of all, thank you, thanks for sharing your knowledge, your stories. And before I ask, Where should we point people towards online? To find out more to LinkedIn? Okay.
Bennie Fowler 47:39
Yeah, LinkedIn is is a profile that I’m always active on and I share a lot of content, I do my Monday mindset minute with Bennie, I do that. And then I share some articles on LinkedIn as well, in terms of the things that I’ve learned on the field that can be applied in business. And I think that’s where I see and engage in a lot of business owners. And you know, I’m working with about 14 people right now, you know, right before the season. So we’ll we’ll
Jeremy Weisz 48:07
do have a limited time.
Bennie Fowler 48:09
So we’ll pretty well pretty much come to a close with that in July. But, you know, I still engage with people throughout the day, or throughout the week on LinkedIn.
Jeremy Weisz 48:19
Yeah. So I want to encourage people to check out Bennie Fowler on LinkedIn, it’s B E NNIE FOWLER are also check out Silver Spoon, his book, The Imperfect Guide to Success. You know, Bennie, my last question is, mentors that we did not mention, it could be mentors in your life over the past couple years. It could be distant mentors. It could be distant mentors mean like books that you just love from people that you respect? Or some of the mentors or books that we weren’t able to mention so far.
Bennie Fowler 48:53
One of my favorite books of all time, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, Think and Grow Rich. Success, The Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck, I think growth mindset is super important. Abraham Maslow, Maslow, Maslow is a, I would say a mentor that obviously, you know, he’s not here anymore. But you know, I’ve read a lot of his books. I’ve had so many different mentors in terms of in business and life, Dan, you know, shout out to Dan. he’s a he’s a business mentor. Now. You know, my dad, one of the most incredible mentors, anybody could ever have, you know, Julius Thomas, who’s in my book, Draymond who’s in my book, my mother, who is you know, my best friend and mentors me in so many different areas of life. So those are the people that I would, I would, you know, shout out the marriage Thomas manual centers, you know, so many great people. So those are the people I would love to shout out and then all the coaches that have helped me to this point.
Jeremy Weisz 49:53
Yeah, first of all, Bennie Thank you everyone. Check out Silver Spoon and Bennie on LinkedIn. Inspired Insider Rise25 and Thanks everyone. Thanks, Bennie. Jeremy Thank you.