A Super Bowl Leader

If you were like me, and 280 million other people, Sunday was spent watching two football teams go head to head to see who was the best in the 2023 NFL season. Whether you were rooting for the Chiefs or the Eagles, one thing is for sure, they put on a fantastic show for their audience. I am a big fan of games that come down to the wire, and that is exactly what Super Bowl XLVII was all about. I didn’t have a preference as to who should win the Super Bowl, as I felt both teams were great competitors and earned their way to the center stage. Overall, the game was fantastic and both teams played their hearts out. 

There was a play that happened in the second quarter that forced a turnover for the Eagles and ultimately ended with the Chiefs getting a touchdown. Yes, the turnover was disappointing, but how the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, Jalen Hurts, handled the turnover was phenomenal. I have seen quarterbacks fumble the ball and get turnovers on many occasions. I have also seen quarterbacks yell at their offensive line and blame them for the turnover because of their lack of protection. Yesterday, however, Jalen Hurts did exactly what any good leader should do. He took ownership, blamed himself, and encouraged his offensive line. He didn’t point fingers, he didn’t yell at his men, he simply took ownership of his mistake and encouraged his team.

Phot Credit: AP Photo/Abbie Parr

There is something to be learned from Jalen’s interaction with his team. As the quarterback, he is seen as the leader, the guide, the one who controls the field. He depends on his offensive line, his running backs, and his receivers. However, they also depend on him to be aware, to be alert, to see the field and react accordingly. They rely on him to know the plays, throw on target passes, and be able to read the defense. As the leader, it is easy to point fingers and push blame when things do not go according to plan. It’s easy to point fingers at the offensive line when they allow the defense through. It’s easy to point fingers at the wide receiver who didn’t get into position in time. However, in reality, everything comes down to the quarterback. 

Hunter did something that is rarely seen in leadership these days. He took ownership. He pointed fingers at himself rather than at his team. He humbled himself in front of his team and his coach and took responsibility for the fumble and ultimate turnover that led to the opposite team putting points on the board. There is something to say about a young quarterback who would rather take ownership than push blame. His actions led to a more cohesive team. His team stepped it up and played their hearts out for him, and it showed, as the Eagles held possession of the ball for 20:32 throughout the game. 

Even though the Eagles didn’t go on to win the Super Bowl – blown by a cheap call in my opinion – they still rallied together as a team and played a great game. The team energy starts with the leadership, and Hurts showed that he was the best to lead that team. He took ownership of his faults, he rallied the team together, and his commitment to his team is what gave the Eagles the drive and confidence that they needed. There is much to learn from a young, 24 year old quarterback that found himself in the Super Bowl.

Ownership is essential in leadership. Heck, ownership is essential in life. It’s easy to point fingers and place blame, but in reality, it comes down to us. It comes down to our choices and actions. Ownership builds trust and relationships. It shows a commitment to taking responsibility and personal reflection. Being a leader who takes ownership empowers the rest of the team to be their best. It shows the team that leadership is willing to humble themselves. Taking ownership doesn’t always mean your team will win, but it does mean that your team becomes stronger, better equipped, and more driven. 

I applaud you, Jalen Hurts. You are a great example of what leadership should be. May we all take a minute to learn from your example. 

As always, stay humble and serve well!

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