The Best Leaders Take the Blame


After a tough loss, NFL quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson was interviewed by a reporter. The reporter asked Russell what happened.

The Seahawks had a chance to win, but botched a crucial snap near the end of the game. In my opinion, as far as I could tell, it looked like it was the fault of the player who snapped the ball.

Russell said to the reporter that the error “is on me”. After talking more about the game he reiterated that the mess-up was his own fault, not the fault of the player who snapped the ball. He fully took the blame for the mistake and the loss of the game upon himself.

I’m not a Seattle Seahawks fan and I have no connection to their team, but when I see a great act of leadership I like to point it out.

The best leaders — people like Russell Wilson — take all the blame and give away all the credit. On the contrary, we live in a society where people are quick to blame others and slow to take responsibility.

We all (myself included) have a lot to learn from Russell Wilson’s example. There’s a reason why the Seattle Seahawks are consistently one of the best teams in the NFL. They have a tremendous leader in their starting quarterback, Russell Wilson. Leaders make or break a team, an organization, and a business.

Jeff Davis is the author of The Power of Authentic Leadership. This post first appeared on on January 5th, 2018.

Jeff Davis
Jeff Davis is a professional speaker and the author of several books. He has done keynote speeches internationally and is a sought-after expert on self-leadership, anti-bullying, and overcoming adversity. Jeff frequently speaks to high schools, colleges, nonprofits, organizations, associations, conferences, and businesses. He’s been to five different continents and has a Master’s degree from Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. He also did a well-received TEDx talk in New York City.