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.