“The most valuable player is the one that makes the most players valuable.”
Teams win games. Sure, there might be an MVP of a given game, and in football, it is typically a quarterback, running back, wide receiver, etc. For example, of the fifty-six Super Bowl MVPs (there was a “co-MVP awarded in 1978), an offensive player has been the MVP 82.14% of the time (including 1997 when Desmond Howard won it for Kickoff/Punt Return).
I can geek out on sports stats all day, but the point here is that no one person is THE team. Peyton Manning didn’t win the Super Bowl; an entire team did. His efforts in 2007, when he won the MVP award, made the whole team more valuable.
Perhaps the NFL should rename the MVP award. Maybe it should be called the Most Empowering Player instead? MEP would do a better job codifying the true impact of one player on a team’s performance. They aren’t the most valuable; they enable the most value creation.
There’s a lesson here for all of us in leadership roles…