I already know that some of you are going to love this post, and some of you are going to hate this post, and it doesn’t even really matter what it contains.
Because it’s about Tim Tebow, many people will view this post through the prism of how they view Tebow. “Love” him, you’ll love this post. “Hate” him (or at least the hype surrounding him), and you’ll hate this post.
I’ll urge you, regardless of your stance on Tebow The QB, to view this post with as open a mind so you can to learn something from Tebow The Leader.
Tim Tebow, Leader
We are all entitled to our own opinions on the sustainability of how Tebow plays the quarterback position. And we are all entitled to our own opinions on who or what deserves the credit for Tebow’s superlative record as a starting QB. And we are all entitled to our own opinions on how the media covers Tebow The QB. And there are reasonable arguments on both sides, which is what baffles me about the vitriol sometimes seen in this debate.
But one think that is, I think, indisputable is that Tim Tebow is one of the best leaders in sports. (For my money, Tim Tebow is one of the best leaders in anything, but this is a sports blog so let’s just stick with sports.)
As I watched coverage of yesterday’s improbable Broncos victory over the Bears, I was struck far less by Tebow’s tremendous 4th quarter/OT play, the solid all-around day by the Broncos defense, Marion Barber’s gaffes, and Matt Prater’s incredible field goals. Yes, all of that played a role in getting to 13-10, but none of it made an impact on me like what the quarterback of the Broncos said after the game.
I realize I’m not exactly breaking new ground here. Tebow has been saying things like this publicly since high school, which is why so many people – including and especially people he plays with – adore the guy. But something about these quotes, said in midst of the ever-swirling maelstrom of Tebow hype, just hit me.
So I wanted to share them, because I frankly I think that any of us who lead anybody else in our daily lives can learn from them — assuming that, for at least a few moments, we can set aside the omnipresent debate about Tebow The QB.
This has nothing to do with religion, per se*, and really nothing to do with football. This has to do with being a leader; and say what you will about his quarterbacking, but Tim Tebow continues to prove himself one of the best examples of leadership we have in America today.
You can read the full transcript of Tebow’s postgame press conference here. I’ve pulled out what I think are the six best quotes below.
Notice how he deflects praise from himself, heaps it entirely on his teammates and coaches, and reiterates the importance of believing in each other and embracing adverse moments. It’s quintessential leadership. It’s quintessential Tebow.
Debating Tebow The QB is one of the most ubiquitous discussions in sports right now. I greatly enjoy it, specifically trying to bridge the gap between the two poles of the debate, because I think there is actually a glorious middle where the truth resides, and I’d love it if everyone could get there. I realize the outspokenness of Tebow’s religious beliefs, and the media’s constant caricaturization of everything he and the Broncos do, make that virtually impossible, and that’s a shame.
No matter the underlying reasons for it, we are witnessing something truly remarkable in sports, led by a player who can be described as “one-of-a-kind” in so many ways. And it does transcend sports. I watch sports for entertainment and for uniquely shared moments like this. I don’t watch them because I think I’ll learn something I can actually apply to my daily life; at least I didn’t.
With Tim Tebow I do, because without trying to he teaches Leadership 101 every Sunday for anyone who pays attention. He’s not trying to be a great leader. He just is one. And it impresses the heck out of me more and more every week.
So flame away if you must, or even disagree with the point and purpose of this post, but at least do yourself the favor of reading these six quotes by Tim Tebow. I learned something. Hopefully you will too.
* – I understand that everything Tim Tebow does has something to do with religion, and that he would immediately claim his faith as his #1 leadership attribute; but that doesn’t mean one has to be devoutly religious to take leadership lessons from the kid. I’m not a particularly religious person, but I feel like I’ve learned a lot just watching the example Tebow sets. Just wanted to present this caveat and hopefully preempt comments about this point from hijacking what I hope is a discussion much more about universal principles of leadership than religion.