In the September 11th, 2012 edition of the LA Times, noted writer Bill Plashke told the story of UCLA redshirt freshman quarterback Brett Hundley, Jr. and his response to being named the team’s starter.  Hundley said, “I can’t even tell you how it feels, to know God has happily blessed me with ability to play lights out … to ball out … to have fun.  When you realize you fit in with this game, it’s amazing.”

Along with his father, the two contacted pastor Bryan Pace of his home church, River of Life Church in Phoenix, AZ with an unusual request.  He asked to setup a conference call over the speakers during a church service to thank the congregation and ask for prayer.

Hundley said, “I wanted them to pray for humility and health.I know this can all be gone in an instant.”

The prayers, along with Hundley’s talent, demeanor, work ethic and good coaching, have worked.  Hundley is a leading candidate to win this year’s Heisman Trophy and is a likely Top 5 pick in next year’s NFL Draft.

Sports Illustrated writer Lee Jenkins profiled the star quarterback in its August 4th edition.  The following are 7 additional leadership lessons from Hundley I gleaned from the article:

  1. Great Leaders Ask Great Questions – Hundley asked assistant athletic director Rip Scherer who has NFL experience, “What’s the usual workday like in the NFL?  How did Trent Dilfer study?  How did Jake Delhomme develop camaraderie with receivers?”
  2. Great Leaders Deal With High Expectations – While sitting in a freshman philosophy class, a female volleyball player asked, “You’re Brett Hundley, the savior?”
  3. Great Leaders Never Take Shortcuts – Success smells a lot like perspiration.  Center Jake Brendrel said, “(Brett) was the future star but after he took all the pictures and kissed all the babies, he put in the work.”
  4. Great Leaders Change The Organization’s Culture – The answer to every problem is a person.  UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero said, “Stanford turned the corner because they had a guy like Andrew Luck.  We view Brett the same way.”
  5. Great Leaders Put In The Proper Amount Of Preparation – Food simply tastes better coming out of a crock pot than a microwave.  Leaders are the same way.  UCLA head football coach Jim Mora researched the 35 quarterbacks drafted in the first round from 1990 to 2005.  Only 11 became long-term starters in the NFL.  Of that group, only two started less than 30 games in college.  Entering this year, Hundley has had 27 starts.  He is getting the proper experience needed to succeed at the next level.
  6. Great Leaders Develop Great Intelligence – The best leaders are smart.  Quarterback coach Steve Clarkson said referring to Hundley, “Sometimes you find kids who are intelligent, and other times you find kids who are physical specimens.  But if you ever find one who is both, then you’ve identified someone truly special.”
  7. Great Leaders Offer Solutions – Hundley’s older sister Paris suffers from epilepsy.  As a result, he has taken a great interest in raising funds and awareness to combat the disease.  Susan Pietsch-Escuerta, the executive director the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles said, “He’s been a huge boon for us.”  To learn more about Hundley’s special relationship with his sister Paris who suffers from epilepsy, watch the inspirational video above.

Ask Great Questions, Deal With High Expectations, Never Take Shortcuts, Change Your Culture, Prepare Well, Develop Great Intelligence and Offer Solutions.  If you do these seven things, you too may become a great leader.

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