Sports figures usually generate a lot of talk and excitement among sports fans, but rarely do you see so many non-sports enthusiasts talk about a NFL quarterback who has mediocre stats and hasn’t even won a total of 10 games. Tebow has been thrust into the spotlight of spotlights as he has received obsessive praise and relentless scrutiny for doing his best to do two things – win games and use his platform as an NFL quarterback to bring God glory.
Today, I was thinking about what differentiates Tebow from so many other quarterbacks, who may have better football IQ and better skills, but still fail to get the job done. While he is only in his second season, Tim Tebow wins games and motivates surrounding players to play to their potential as individuals and as a collective team.
Many of Tebow’s positive characteristics that have made him successful can be applied to business as well. Here are just a few that I thought of. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section!
Focused – As Tebow says, his goal since the age of six years old was to be a quarterback. When people told him to play another position he maintained that clear focus and look where he is now, playing QB in the NFL. In an interview with Skip Bayless, Tebow said, my priority is not what others say, rather it’s to be a great teammate and get a little better [at quarterback] each day.
How does this relate to business?
When companies are truly committed and focused on doing one thing right, they succeed. When they lose their focus and try to do too many things and please too many people, they sacrifice quality and market-share dominance for their best product. I think of Apple / Steve Jobs when considering a company that has not strayed from their focus. I also think of Google for a company that sometimes loses its focus and produces far too many mediocre products (excluding their search engine, chrome, and gmail).
Leadership – Perhaps the single-most reason why the Broncos are winning games now that they weren’t winning with their former starting QB (Kyle Ortin) is because Tebow is a leader. He works hard in practice and the off-season and sets a high example. He maintains a positive attitude and does not give into the media’s attempt to badmouth John Elway or other critics. He gives credit to teammates and stays teachable and humble. Finally, he is passionate and believes that they will win games. These and other attributes rally his teammates around him, and the wins start piling up.
Once again, how does this relate to business?
Once again, in business, leadership is essential. If you can motivate employees around you by setting an example, working hard, keeping a clear focus and recognizing others, you will have a great team of employees. Tim Tebow certainly is not the most talented quarterback, but he doesn’t have to be.
“In leadership, talent doesn’t mean success, and arrogance kills teamwork. Instead, be humble and recognize the strengths in others.”
Competitive – One other aspect that I will discuss is Tebow’s competitive nature. Many label him as “a competitive force to be reckoned with,” especially in the fourth quarter. Tebow wants to win, and will lay it all on the line for a “W.” He embraces the pressure and plays best when the game is on the line. He is every defensive coordinator’s nightmare when he has the ball down by three points with less than two minutes left.
Once again, in business, the competition is fierce. Even if you sell Mary Kay, you will likely have a million other people trying to do the same thing, making it essential for you to differentiate yourself from others. Unlike government or schools, business is do or die, eat or be eaten, win or lose. You must be always ready for the fourth quarter drive. Will you win or lose by three? If you are passive or tense up under pressure, you’ll not likely succeed (unless of course the government bails you out). If you aren’t on your “A” game and always ready to adapt to ever-changing threats, you will not be around for a long time.
Those are just a few business principles of many that could be derived from Tim Tebow. I have a lot of respect for the guy and have enjoyed seeing him win football games. There are many other leadership and business qualities that he has, but I’ll let you comment on those below.
As always, thanks for reading!