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Intangibles: 5 leadership lessons from Tim Tebow

Posted by Karen M. Wyatt on November 8, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Ever since quarterback Tim Tebow was drafted to the NFL in the first round by the Denver Broncos, sports analysts have debated his talents and questioned his suitability for professional football. While they criticize his quarterbacking skills, most commentators admit that Tebow has “intangibles,” qualities that make him appealing to fans and an emotional leader for his teammates.

These qualities, say the experts, are not sufficient to make Tebow a winner at the game of football. But I would like to suggest that Tebow’s intangibles are exactly what make him a winner in the game of life. In fact, our society currently suffers from a serious lack of all of these qualities and those who strive to be leaders would do well to emulate Tebow’s performance both on and off the field.

1. Determination

Tim Tebow is renowned for making up his mind to do something and then actually accomplishing it, against all odds. He has proven his ability to believe in his goals and work toward them consistently, day after day, without taking shortcuts or complaining.

2. Accountability

Tebow accepts responsibility for achieving his goals and blames only himself for falling short, as in his apology after his Florida Gator team lost to Ole Miss. As a leader he shoulders the burden of accountability and models for his teammates the process of facing failure with courage and conviction.

3. Resilience

Over and over again on the football field Tebow demonstrates his ability to take a hit, fall on his face, and get back up again, ready to fight. His toughness is admirable as he quickly recovers from being knocked down and manages to maintain his focus on the present moment.

4. Authenticity

Whenever Tebow speaks to the media his honesty and integrity shine through every word. He is exactly the person he claims to be and conducts himself with humility and graciousness in every situation, a rare occurrence in the ego-driven world of sports and celebrity.

5. Faith

The foundation of all of Tebow’s intangible qualities is the fact that he believes there is a higher purpose to life and existence and he lives by that belief. Football is just a game and, though he is a fierce competitor, Tebow understands that winning or losing the game is less important than playing at your highest potential.

As we struggle in our society with crumbling morals, dishonest business practices, deceptive advertising, political corruption and the disappearance of the middle class, it’s time that we took a hard look at the qualities we value in life. I say we need to focus less on the measurables and more on the intangibles. In the game of life we need more leadership and less one-upmanship just as in the game of football , no matter what the experts say, we need more Tebow and less T.O.

Categories: Spirituality, Current Events, Sports

Copyright ©2010 Karen Wyatt, MD

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