Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner took the stage at last Thursday’s Kirkland Chamber of Commerce meeting, addressing members and dozens of local high school students.
The meeting was one of two annual events sponsored by Google focusing on leadership, and another in the fall focusing on attracting students to science, technology, engineering and math related fields.
“We have a lot of personality on our team,” Wagner said. “The way I lead, I lead by example.”
Wagner fielded questions from attendees for nearly 45 minutes, covering a range of topics from the future of his team to personal inspiration and leadership advice.
“The important thing about leadership is being able to connect to someone,” he said. “The only way you can do that is to take the time to get to know them.”
When asked about his personal inspiration Wagner was quick to talk about his late mother.
Phenia Wagner had multiple strokes and a heart attack but Bobby said she continued to support him through her illnesses.
“She’s been there throughout my whole life, she never missed a game,” he said. “It inspired me to keep going.”
Phenia Wagner passed away in 2009 shortly after her son finished his first year of college at Utah State University.
When asked about concerns over his own health in light of a growing national concern over the relationship between head trauma and football, Wagner brushed it off.
“Me, personally, it doesn’t really change my play,” he said.
Wagner said he’s never had a concussion and believes in the “law of attraction.”
“I don’t think about getting hurt,” he said.
Despite signing on with the Seahawks for another four years, Wagner said he’s also thinking beyond.
“You always gotta prepare for life after football,” he said.
In particular, he said he’s interested in business.
On a final note, Wagner gave likely his most pointed business advice, saying even when his team is winning, he’s always pushing forward.
“I think you’re never satisfied,” he said.