Lead Like A Pro, Episode #138

Perry Williams is a retired NFL Player and two-time Super Bowl Champion. He’s also a keynote speaker and the Director of Sports Management at Long Island University (LIU).

On a team of stars, Perry Williams was an unsung hero and silent leader of the New York Giants Football team for 11 seasons (1983-1994). He was the starting right cornerback for one of the most storied and dynamic defenses in NFL history, culminating with two NFL Super Bowl Championships (1986-1987) and (1990-1991). Impressively, Perry holds the record for the most games played as a defensive back (corner) in the history of the Giants—a testament to his dedication and consistency.

Perry’s greatest accomplishment as a New York Giant was not his all-pro honors or Super Bowl championships, but rather, that he was a benefactor and now a director of outreach programs for the New York Giants Degree Completion Program at Fairleigh Dickinson University, which has since become the model adopted by the NFL and its member teams for the benefit of its players.

During his professional football career off-season, Perry earned a Criminal Justice/Sociology Bachelor of Arts degree from North Carolina State University and a Master of Public Administration degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University. This is a feat that is virtually unheard of in the lucrative world of professional sports.

Perry is a highly sought-after motivational speaker that has been invited to work with companies like Exxon/Mobil, Starbucks, IBM, UPS, and Verizon Wireless. He has lectured at hundreds of Schools, Colleges, and Universities as well as other respected organizations such as the United Way Foundation.

Listen in for some great takeaways about Perry’s journey as a two-time Super Bowl Champion and how preparing for life after football has allowed him to be a champion both on and off the field.

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…

  • Can you tell our audience a bit about who Perry Williams is? [4:32]
  • Why Perry took part in the NFL’s degree completion program [6:51]
  • Perry’s goals in his role as the Director of Sports Management at LIU [12:43]
  • The impact of the sports model approach to leadership [17:20]
  • The pressure that comes with playing football in New York [20:30]
  • What stands out about the iconic people that Perry played with [25:25]
  • Why Perry believes your mindset is so important to your success [27:09]
  • How Perry is making an impact as a Special Deputy for Suffolk County [31:40]
  • How winning the Super Bowl twice compared to his childhood dreams [35:12]
  • What Perry did today that put him in the right mindset for success? [37:37]

Why Perry took part in the NFL’s degree completion program

In 1985, Perry met the VP of Fairleigh Dickinson University. He’d noticed that very few NFL players had actually completed their college degrees and wanted to do something about it. So he created an option where NFL players could go back to school during the offseason.

They could take the classes at Fairleigh Dickinson and then transfer the credits back to their respective colleges. Perry dove in with 17 other guys. The Giants were the first team to embrace the new program. Five years later, the entire NFL was on board.

The VP of Fairleigh called him for two years trying to convince him to go for his graduate degree. In 1989, Perry was ready. He jumped in and by 1991—the same year he won his second Super Bowl—he was finished with his graduate degree. He refocused, remained disciplined, and challenged himself to succeed.

Perry’s goals in his role as the Director of Sports Management at LIU

Perry’s mission is to help young people transform their lives. He wants to help them build their character, self-esteem, and self-worth. He seeks to instill confidence in them that they can accomplish anything. He wants his students to be engaged and excited about transitioning into the real world. Even if they aspire to be a professional athlete, NFL players average three years in the league. They need a plan for after football.

No matter what industry you’re in, you need to lead like a pro. Great leaders are visionaries. Your team needs to be in order. Perry’s vision and hope is to give young men and women opportunities to be successful. The ultimate goal is to have success and to win. You don’t want to be second best. You want to be with a team that wants to be successful.

Why Perry believes your mindset is so important to your success

Perry’s mom and grandma raised him. In 1971–72 when Perry was 11, he told his mother and grandma that he would play in the NFL and play in the Super Bowl. 14 years later, he played in his first Super Bowl—and won. He believed wholeheartedly and never gave up on his dreams.

The iconic people that Perry played alongside and against had the will to win. They never quit and never gave up. They had great character and work ethic. Perry likes to say, “Your will will always supersede your skill.” They won because they wanted it.

Mindset is about self-confidence, self-worth, and self-esteem. There’s no in-between. You either have the willpower or you don’t. Some people give up easily. Perry’s struggles made him stronger. His mindset was mental toughness. He is always willing to go the extra mile.

He believes that mindset is the #1 thing you need to focus on to get where you want to be. Give it your best trying to be the best. Perry was motivated to give his mother and grandmother a better life. It kept him on the straight and narrow and away from drugs and alcohol.

How Perry is making an impact as a Special Deputy for Suffolk County

Perry now works with the Suffolk County community outreach program and goes into schools to talk about drug and alcohol awareness, building character, and more. His role is to impart wisdom to young men and women to believe in themselves and get an education because an education can never be taken away from you. He’s giving back to the community. God gave him a great opportunity and now it’s his time to pass the torch and help young people transform their lives.

Listen to the whole episode to hear about Perry’s experiences in the NFL and learn about the grit and mental toughness it takes to accomplish your goals.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Perry Williams

Bio

On a team of stars, Perry was an unsung hero and silent leader of the New York Giants Football team for eleven seasons (1983-1994) as the starting right cornerback for one of the most storied and dynamic defenses in the National football league history, culminating with two NFL super bowl Championships (1986-1987) and (1990-1991). Impressively, Perry holds the record for the most games played as a defensive back (corner) in the history of the Giants- a testament to his dedication and consistency.

Perhaps Perry’s greatest accomplishment as a New York Giant, was not his all-pro honors or Super Bowl championships, but rather, that he was benefactor and now a director of outreach programs for the New York Giants Degree Completion Program at Fairleigh Dickinson University, which has since become the model adopted by the National Football League and its member teams for the benefit of its players.

In addition to being the director of business development of Gator Communications Group LLC printing firm; At Fairleigh Dickinson University, Perry was a senior lecturer teaching leadership and strategy for graduate and undergraduate classes in sports management administration from 1995 through 2018. In Fall of 2019, he was appointed Director of Sports Management at Long Island University (LIU).

Perry was selected as a recipient of the Sports Ethic Fellow Humanitarian Award (1995). Alex Baker Memorial Humanitarian Award (2011). Trey Whitfield foundation leadership Award (2012) and Platinum Minds Community Leaders Award (2014).

During his professional football career off-season, Perry earned a Criminal Justice/Sociology Bachelor of Arts degree from North Carolina State University and a Master of Public Administration degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University. This is a feat that is virtually unheard of in the lucrative world of professional sports.

Among the companies that Perry Williams has been a corporate motivational speaker and spokesman for: Exxon/Mobil, Starbucks Coffee, IBM, United Parcel service and Verizon Wireless. He has lectured at hundreds of Schools, Colleges, and Universities as well as other respected organizations such as the United Way Foundation.

Connect With Mitlin Financial

Guests on the Mitlin Money Mindset Show are not affiliated with CWM, LLC, and opinions expressed herein may not be representative of CWM, LLC. CWM, LLC is not responsible for the guest’s content linked on this site.

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