On Giants.com, there’s a good piece about Eli Manning and the lessons of the Super Bowl.

The protagonist of the drama is Eli Manning who, up until late December,2007, was badly and erroneously characterized by the press. He was not a good leader; indeed, he was a failed leader said they. “Eli the Terrible.” As a student of leadership, I could not concur in this judgment. What I saw in the man – the look in his eyes, his body language and speech – was a very good leader with great potential – albeit one not easily recognized in these times. I characterize Eli Manning’s style of leadership as that of the Knight, perhaps a Knight-errant on a quest. He’s the Blue Knight, a medieval man in modern metro New York! The strengths of his leadership resemble the chivalric ideals: Fortitude, Courage, Prudence and Humility employed in a high cause of self-development that is self-assessed. Modern media doesn’t know what to do with an individual like this.

Such a leader seems inscrutable because he needs little outside stimulus and doesn’t glory in the fawning and praise of others. He is first and foremost his own champion and gathers followers to fulfill a quest. His coach reports that after bad games, the Blue Knight would come to talk, passionate in his desire to be better.

Our society is more used to the charismatic leader like Tom Brady, or the methodical professional bureaucratic (strategy, x’s and o’s) leadership of a coach Bill Belichick. They are modern, they are high-tech-hip and plentiful in the corporate world.They seem totally reliable. But the founder of modern political science and leadership studies, Nicolo Macchiavelli of Renaissance Italy, strongly believed that in life and leadership, fortune (luck) counted about 50% .I wouldn’t put the figure that high, but when I discuss leadership in class or in my seminar, I ask students to consider seriously the element of luck.

Read all about it at Giants.com.