You are your career's quarterback (Not its defensive lineman)

Musing for:

You are your career’s quarterback

OK. I’ll admit I’m not much of a sports guy. Not a sports guy at all, really. But I just finished watching an episode of a series about an American high school football team, so the metaphor came to mind.

When you view your career as a defensive lineman, you see the world outside yourself conspiring to derail you. Your coworkers feel like competitors to your promotion. Resources seem as scarce as opportunities, while the decisions from your leadership and HR teams appear as obstacles to your success.

People with this mentality often expect their supervisors to craft their path to promotion and champion their success.

But in today’s economy, you must be your own career champion.

You are not the defensive lineman; you are the quarterback.

⛔ Defensive: “Why won’t the infrastructure team even listen to my proposal for this new database engine?”
💡 Quarterback: “Who can help me better understand the challenges the infrastructure team is facing?”

⛔ Defensive: “Why isn’t there a published path into higher leadership for people like me?”
💡 Quarterback: “What problems are higher leaders talking about? What solutions can I offer?”

⛔ Defensive: “We just lost another customer. What’s wrong with the sales or customer service teams?”
💡 Quarterback: “We just lost another customer. How can I help the product stay attractive?”

Even when the circumstances are challenging, it’s up to the quarterback to put things in motion to lead to success. When it comes to your career, that’s your position to play.

As you head into 2024, you may need help shifting your thinking from defensive lineman to quarterback. If that’s the case, I’d love to have a complimentary conversation with you to help with that transformation.

Visit to schedule a call.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *