Like virtually every other male Christian leader, who doubles as a professional football fan [and there are a lot of us out here], it’s hard for me to endure yet another Tebow-less NFL season. The now 29 year-old, 250 pound, perfectly sculpted physical specimen and Heisman trophy collegiate quarterback, has not yet been given a real shot at proving himself as a team leader in the pros. The Broncos, Jets and Browns each took turns blowing it by either trading or cutting Tebow from their rosters. Their rationalizations? He can’t throw. He’s not a good practice player. He’s a distraction. Please!
Here’s the thing. Legendary Green Bay Packers Coach Vince Lombardi used to say, “Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.” So the main question to ask and answer when evaluating your quarterback is, “Can I win a championship with this guy?” Tim Tebow has been a proven winner throughout his life. He led a team that won the state championship in High School. He led a team that won two National Championships in College. He led a team for most of his first year in the pros that won a Division Championship in the NFL. Sports writer Steve Matoren has observed that leadership is a matter of “limitless heart, an insatiable will-to-win, strong character, an extraordinary work ethic, humility and leadership skills.” He calls these the “off-the-charts intangibles.” And Tim Tebow has consistently demonstrated these intangibles in every area of his life, from his sexual self-discipline to his countless charitable efforts. His iconic leadership has not been limited to professional football [or baseball]. A foundation that bears his name is now responsible for making grants to and establishing partnerships with hundreds of churches in a worldwide outreach to mentally and physically challenged kids called “Night to Shine” where those with special needs are the guests of honor.
So, what are the top-ten leadership lessons we can take away from the Tim Tebow story?
- Keep a positive, winning attitude even when you are unnoticed and overlooked.
- Keep the head and heart of a winner even when you are victimized by injustice.
- Keep working hard and doing your best even if you are not rewarded with recognition/promotion.
- Be patient and supportive of others even when you find that you are “on the bench.”
- See God’s hand in the no’s as well as the yes’ in your life and leadership.
- Take hold of what is in front of you and discharge it faithfully even if it’s not what you may want to be doing.
- Realize God’s vision for you may eclipse your primary dream for your life.
- Remember character counts more than achievement.
- Remember moral authority is your most important authority in life.\
- Remember your investment in people is more valuable, in light of eternity, than name recognition, money or fame.