Tag Archives: Tebow

So Your “Tebow” is Winning

They say one bad apple can ruin the bunch. Yet, does one special apple make the bunch better? It is the ultimate question when it comes to team dynamics and hiring…will one person really make that much of a difference?  Not a linear difference, but an exponential difference.

Of course, this whole saga of Tebow and the Broncos has provided some interesting fodder. From “So You Hired a Tebow” to the “So You Inherited a Tebow” it has been an interesting case study. It has evolved into the story of the NFL season, of an incredible example of leadership and team performance. How does one person impact and effect a team?  Strip away all of the talent, religious, personal and other debates that surround Tim Tebow, there is no questioning his role as starting quarterback has impacted the performance of the Denver Broncos…the whole team is playing at an incredibly high level the last two months.

It is the most basic of questions in hiring…do the unquantifiables matter?  Can the ability to inspire and lead really make that big of a difference?  Can passion and sheer will to win trump talent and training?  Does relentless work ethic overcome lack of training and technical skill?   Truth be told it is not a binary issue.  Tebow has abilities and skills, physical size and athletic gifts that got him to the professional level.  He threw a lot of passes in college and won a lot of games.  The answer, as with all answers, lies somewhere in the middle.

It takes both skills and passion, training and committment, work ethic and natural ability.  Leadership is funny that way…the trained versus born debate.  It is all about the mix, about what degree of each makes for that perfect combination.  Leadership is both art and science.  It is a combination that is beyond measure; it is unquantifiable after all.  But it is a combination and recognizing that fact is the key to hiring leaders.  You have to embrace both the art and the sceince…the degree is up to you.

Yes, I have to admit it, I am addicted. Never, not one time in my life have I ever “needed” to watch an NFL game. Not even the Super Bowl. But this Sunday afternoon I will be watching the Patriots-Broncos game.  Bradey versus Tebow – that is a need to watch event.  The experiment, the winning record, the drama, the story, the love, the hate, the talent argument, and especially the “unquantifiables” debate. To put it simply, it is flipping crazy and I am hooked on the entire thing.

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Leadership – Acting the Part

What an example.  What a stark contrast.  What a sequence of events.  One team’s victory brings out the worst in a leader, while another team’s defeat brings out the best in a leader. And it was all captured live, unscripted and raw.  Holloway and Tebow – what a contrast.

Granted the moments are several years apart, but the contrast, thanks to YouTube, is stunning.  Tu Holloway, quite literally the face of the Xavier basketball program, league MVP and Third Team All-American, is a senior guard – the on court leader of his team.  His comments following a game ending brawl, that to some degree was instigated by him, were stunning:

“We got disrespected a little bit before the game, guys calling us out. We’re a tougher team. We’re grown men over here. We got a whole bunch of gangstas in the locker room, not thugs but tough guys on the court. We went out there and zipped ’em up at the end of the game.”

Regardless of where one falls on spectrum of who started what, who threw punches, cultural context, and other aspects of the Cincinnati-Xavier fight, the above comments by Holloway are hardly the stuff of great leadership moments.

While the myth and legend of Tebow has been growing exponentially over the last 8 weeks, many point to “The Promise” as the moment when Tim Tebow went from unique football talent to mythical leader.  Following a home loss his Junior season, Tebow the quarterback and team leader stepped up to address the media in the post game press conference:

“I promise you one thing. A lot of good will come out of this. You will never see any player in the entire country play as hard as I will play the rest of the season. You will never see someone push the rest of the team as hard as I will push everybody the rest of the season. You will never see a team play harder than we will the rest of the season.”

Short sighted, stupid, sappy, dramatic, and maybe even silly, but there is no denying, the words Holloway and Tebow chose were telling.  They were young men in moments of high emotion and stress, responding to events in a guttural and emotional way.  But it is in those sorts of moments that one must act the part of a leader.

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So You Inherited a “Tebow”

As was pointed out by more than just one person yesterday – more often than not you inherit a “Tebow” vice hire a “Tebow”.  The person who made the hiring decision is long gone.  As leaders we typically are in a position to “play the hand we are dealt” vice picking and choosing.  And when one looks at Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos that is the exact scenario.

So what does one do when they inherit someone else’s project?  It is a huge question – arbitrarily firing someone is typically not an option.  Letting them succeed or fail on their own has a direct impact on you.  Usually a dramatic impact.  As in lose your job impact.  Then again, providing the support, time, mentorship and training might not be entirely viable – the resources just might not exist.  It is a touch situation for all.  There is simply no right answer.

Fortunately most of us do not have to play this situation out on a national stage in a very binary fashion.  However, we must confront the issue.  Ignoring the inheritance is neither prudent nor fair.  The individual is on the team.  How they got there and why is not your issue.  How you and they will work together to find the best scenario for all is the issue…in a timely manner.

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