One of my favorite things I get to do is the opportunity to work with young quarterbacks in Europe. Quarterback is such a unique position, in such a unique sport. And contrary to popular belief, the primary job of a quarterback is not to display the strongest arm, pass for the most yards, or lead the team in touchdowns.
The primary job of a quarterback – as my friend Sean Shelton likes to say – is “to make the other ten players on the field better.” And if you’re going to elevate the level of play around you, it’s important to lead like someone who is worth following.
You need to lead like a victor.
Let me explain.
Picture in your mind the type of quarterback you would want to follow into battle. Imagine what he is like. Is he confident? Do you trust him? Do you believe him when he tells you that victory will soon be ours? Yes, yes, and yes. Right?
You answered yes because that quarterback you were picturing in your mind was leading like a victor. It’s easy to follow a victor. They look you in the eyes, ooze with confidence, and lay it all on the line.
And while it’s easy to follow a victor, always remember that nobody follows a victim.
“Coach doesn’t like me…”
“They won’t let me compete…”
“If I had those players around me…”
“If I played in a better league…”
“If I were in that system…”
“If I had that coach…”
No one is going to follow that guy.
As a quarterback, your primary job is to lead your teammates and elevate their level of play. And if that’s your role, you need to act like it. Don’t complain, don’t whine, don’t sulk.
Lead, exemplify, demonstrate.
Stop being a victim. Start being a victor. Lead your troops.