Fran Tarkenton shared leadership and business lessons he’s learned through his 18 years in the National Football League and more than 50 years as an entrepreneur with the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber last week.
Tarkenton, who has offices at Tower Place in Buckhead, made the short drive to Sandy Springs City Hall for the chamber’s Signature Luncheon on Nov. 14. His self-named company, Tarkenton, works with clients to support and enhance their brand, services, and processes.
He shared stories from his football days with the Minnesota Vikings to illustrate the business and leadership concepts he follows.
“The company needs to bring people in who can do their jobs, and it needs to give them the coaching, mentoring, and leeway needed to develop and do their work,” he said.
A business needs the right environment also, Tarkenton said.
“It’s not about making money. That’s a byproduct of what we should be doing. Let’s go out and change the world, make the world better, and help our people get more customers,” he said.
If they are successful with that, then they might make more money, he said, but the mission of business is to help people to do things right.
Tarkenton, a member of the NFL Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame, was not a fan of the NCAA allowing student-athletes to be paid for the use of their names, images, and likenesses. He said back in his day, it was illegal to give money to players, though it was done. Now it has been legalized.
Tarkenton said he was invited by today’s Vikings coach to speak to players on the eve of their game with the Atlanta Falcons. He had the chance to motivate the players, including Josh Dobbs, who had just joined the team as a quarterback five days earlier. Gibbs went on to lead the team to victory against the Falcons. That motivational effort earned Tarkenton another game ball at age 83.