You would have to be living under a rock over the last few months if you hadn’t heard something about a professional football player named Tim Tebow.
Tebow is the quarterback of the Denver Broncos. The reason he’s been much talked about over the last few months is he is not the traditional NFL quarterback. He is left handed, doesn’t have a strong arm, is considered more of a running quarterback than a “pocket passer”, and some would say he wears his faith on his sleeve. Oh yeah, and since he became the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos, they have won so much they made the playoffs – even though they were only playing him originally because the playoffs seemed out of reach.
Well last night Tebow and the Broncos did it again. They beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime to advance to the second round of the playoffs. Clearly, Tebow is special.
I have been listening to all the sports pundits talk about what makes Tebow special. Even some traditional news outlets have picked up the story. While he is certainly a skilled athlete, most agree his skills are not superior to many other quarterbacks in the NFL.
Some may say it’s his religious faith. I commend his beliefs but I suspect there are many other professional football players with similar beliefs. So what is it that makes him special?
I can tell you what it is and I’ve never even met Tebow. It’s LEADERSHIP.
Tebow’s teammates believe in him. They are willing to follow him anywhere. They are willing to give everything they have in pursuit of the common goal (winning the game) as they see him doing the same thing. And guess what. Here’s the part you haven’t heard before.
He believes in them.
Too often we talk about great leaders as these strong personalities that people are drawn to and for whom they are willing to give their all. I believe many great leaders have those strong personalities. I believe one of the characteristics of a great leader is one who has committed followers. People who believe strongly in the leader.
However, if the leader doesn’t share that commitment, belief and faith in his followers, he will not be a leader for long. Think about the people you lead every day. Do they believe in you? Of course they do. Do you believe equally in them? If not, think about why not and what needs to happen for you to share the belief.
Great, winning organizations have great leaders and great followers who believe equally in each other and the goals they are trying to reach together.