4 Steps to Becoming the Tim Tebow of Your Organization

By on March 1, 2009   /   Leave a comment

Whether you follow college sports or not, I have to believe the name “Tim Tebow” is familiar to you.

He is the homeschooled son of a Filipino missionary who grew up playing football in small-town Florida, only to rise to the pinnacle of success as the quarterback of perennial powerhouse, the Florida Gators.

Not only did Tebow lead his team to NCAA championships in two out of the last three seasons, he also won the Heisman trophy (given to the most valuable football player in the country), all kinds of other awards and accolades, and of course smashed numerous records along the way.

What set him apart from the other 2,000+ college quarterbacks across the country was not his records or trophies, but the profound influence he’s had on his team, his coaches, his university, and millions of fans around the world. How did this toothy-grinned 20-year-old “gee whiz” of a kid with a crew cut straight from the 50’s capture the attention of the sports world, making us all sit up and take notice?

It appears Tebow’s turning point may have come 60 minutes after unranked Ole Miss upset the mighty Gators 31-30 in front of a Gainesville, Florida home crowd on September 27, 2008. After grieving and praying at his locker for over an hour, he stormed into the post-game press conference and with tears in his eyes declared: “I’m sorry, extremely sorry. We were looking for an undefeated season. That was my goal. But I promise you one thing: A lot of good will come out of this. You have never seen any player in the entire country play as hard as I will play the rest of the season, and you will never see someone push the rest of the team as hard as I will push everybody the rest of the season. You’ll never see a team play harder than we will the rest of the season. God bless.” He bowed his head and walked out.

No, those were not just empty promises spewed out after an emotional loss. That was the day Tebow turned from a boy into a man, determined to singlehandedly carry that whole team on his shoulders right through to the final whistle of the National Championship Game. And that is exactly what he did. Although just one player, his resolute attitude and unbridled passion wielded more influence than the Athletic Director, all of the coaches, players, and sportswriters combined! Technically, he had no official position or power, but it was obvious to all who the heart and soul of “Gator Nation” was—the humble, yet fiery Tim Tebow; unpaid, unpretentious, undesignated-leader of the pack. This is a great example of what author John Maxwell calls “leading from the middle.” We deceive ourselves into thinking we can’t lead or bring about change in our organization unless some big title is bestowed upon us from on high. Maxwell disagrees and states: “Leadership is influence—nothing more, nothing less.”

So, instead of wasting time jockeying for that promotion or corner office, why not begin now making a real difference in those around you? And just as Tebow did, could we not also each make a private vow that we will make whatever sacrifice is required to help the people and programs of our ministry succeed? Regardless of how low on the totem pole you may be, here are four quick steps from the life of Tim Tebow to get you started:

1. Give away credit for successes, accept responsibility for failures

2. View every setback as an opportunity to learn and improve

3. Be a pacesetter by modeling servanthood and hard work

4. Keep the big-picture goal clearly in focus for you and others


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