For some, being sacked as captain after leading their country to the RBS 6 Nations wooden spoon would represent one of the lowest points in their career.
Not for Chris Paterson.
The 26-year-old utility back revelled in the experience and now the responsibility has been passed on to Scott Murray, he recognises how it has not only benefited him as a player but Scotland as a team.
"Rotating the captaincy has worked,'' he said.
"I feel more mature and a hell of a stronger person for having the captaincy through the Six Nations.
"I know I can now help Scott out better because of my own experiences.''
When Paterson was named Matt Williams' first captain, it came with the understanding that it would be shared around to help develop leaders in a side shorn of experience by post-World Cup retirements.
"Leadership is a skill that takes time to develop,'' said Williams. "It is something we have really been working on.''
The learning curve was steep as Paterson struggled for form in a losing side but he has not been left scarred by the wooden spoon experience.
"I did have a lot on my plate, I can't deny that, but it's more the emotional side,'' he said.
"It is such a huge, huge honour that you take results and other things to heart, as every captain, every coach probably does."
Paterson will win his 46th Test cap at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Friday and the pressure on Scotland to perform, after six successive Test defeats, is immense.
Samoa, who beat Tonga 24-14 last weekend in the opening round of the Pacific Tri-Nations, have overtaken the Scots in the world rankings.
"There is your motivation right there. We are now 10th in the world, the lowest we have ever been,'' said Paterson.
"We do have to win. We are under a fair bit of pressure. These teams are so dangerous, we are looking at a game of few mistakes and strong defence. That is what we need.''
Samoan captain Semo Sititi, the former Borders number eight, has warned Scotland to brace themselves for a typical islander onslaught based on the game plan that gave England such a shock during the World Cup.
"We are looking to play in a similar way to the way we played against England and use our Samoan flair,'' promised Sititi, who has signed for Newcastle.
"We have got some good speed out wide in our backs but when we take the field on Friday it won't matter what number is on the back of the shirt because sometimes the forwards can play in the back line and that will hopefully help us win the game."
Paterson will start at fullback with Gordon Ross in at fly-half. Sean Lamont will debut on the wing while Simon Taylor's injury has forced a reshuffle in the back row with Donnie Macfadyen to start at openside flanker.
Ben Hinshelwood will start in the centres in place of Tom Philip, whose tour was ended by a knee injury that will keep him out of the game for nine months.
Edinburgh centre and Under-21 international Matt Dey is Philip's replacement. He will join the squad back in Australia.