I was thrilled when I saw Coach Tony Dungy was selected as one of the candidates for the 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame class. One of my other former teammates, Marvin Harrison, was also selected. We wouldn’t have won the Super Bowl in 2006 without them.
And although Coach Dungy had an impact on the way his players played football, he had an even bigger impact on our lives. He didn’t just see his players and staff as important men who could help him win a Super Bowl. He saw their value. They weren’t just football players. They were men with souls who were all striving for something to fulfill and satisfy.
Many leaders view those below them as means to accomplish what they want to accomplish. They are mere utensils to accomplish selfish desires. And many people see leaders in this world as the exact same thing, a launching pad for themselves.
Social standing, worldly success, and popularity were irrelevant to Jesus and other God-fearing leaders in the Bible. Jesus cared about people’s souls. He desperately wanted to meet their needs. He valued them for more than what they brought to the table, because they often brought nothing.
Don’t allow your talents or status, your jersey, to have a negative impact on yourself. The jersey effect is about using the talents God has given you to impact others. And one of the best ways to impact others is to serve them and love their souls. That’s what makes a leader.
— Hunter Smith, Former Punter, Author of The Jersey Effect