I've been a Baltimore Ravens fan for a long time, and naturally, I want my favorite team to win (who doesn't). That said, I don't mind seeing them down in points, because coming from behind makes a win that much more exciting. Tack on the most accurate kicker in NFL history, and you've got a recipe for superb drama. 

Ravens kicker Justin Tucker hadn't missed an extra point in 222 attempts (316 if you count his college career), so on Sunday against the Saints, it seemed like a given that he'd tie the game up and send it to overtime.  

Instead, well ... watching it wounded me deeply. Do I have to say it, too? 

Alright. He missed. There it is.

But that one football veering wide of the uprights set up an excellent teaching moment for entrepreneurs and aspiring leaders of all types--and Justin thought so, too.  

When you make a mistake, fall short, or otherwise miss the mark, this is how you handle it.

You don't sulk, don't beat around the bush, and don't blame your team.

You own it. 

At that post-game press conference, here's what Justin said:

"More than anything, I just wanted to be here...If I was ever going to teach my son or some young person about accountability, I felt that it was important for me to be up here and answer any questions you guys may have."

The word Justin used was 'accountability' and I couldn't put it any better. Accountability is a simple concept with deep meaning to it. When you own your failures, it does so much. I could make a list. In fact, I will. 

  • It helps you process and learn from your mistakes. 
  • It lets others know that you know what went wrong. 
  • It keeps you humble (and shows that as well). 
  • It gives you transparency, which people around you appreciate.
  • It sets you apart from everyone who doesn't have the right attitude. 

Accountability is just as important as resilience, and both are vital to success for the simple reason that nobody gets it right every single time. That includes Justin Tucker. With his statement, he showcased what it looks like when someone has the tools and mindset to bounce back. 

Of course, we'd expect nothing less from someone who's not known to shy away from an opportunity to inspire. 

Accountability isn't about begging forgiveness; it's about wanting the best from yourself. But Justin, we forgive you anyway. Just don't make this a habit, or please 'kick it' before it becomes one (see what I did there?).