Tim Tebow, leading the Denver Broncos to a mid-season turnaround, is one of the amazing stories from the National Football League this year. He has defied all odds and effectively ran a style of offense that most assumed could not work in the NFL. The NFL is a pass oriented league, with teams on average throwing the ball around 60% of the time. Tim Tebow is not known for his passing ability. His unorthodox throwing motion, combined with his inaccuracy, made most analysts believe that he could not be a successful quarterback. Tebow has the lowest completion percentage in the league, and the Denver Broncos run the ball more than any other team. How did this formula become a success? The Broncos have turned a 1-4 season start with Kyle Orton as starting quarterback into a 9-7 playoff bound team, with Tim Tebow at the helm. Tim Tebow is a dynamic, influential leader and that is what makes him successful. There are not any metrics that can measure ones leadership ability, but here are the qualities that make him great.
Faith in Himself
Tim Tebow has a strong conviction in himself and is not concerned with all of the things that people are saying he can’t do. He is humble and even though the spotlight is on him, he gives credit to everyone on the team. In the press conference after the Chicago Bears game, in which the Broncos pulled out a come from behind win, Tim said, “I just want to thank Coach Fox and the coaches for giving me the opportunity and believing in me for the entire game and for the defense for keeping us in it and our receivers and our offensive line, who at the end of the game made me look a lot better than I really am.” He has integrity and the team knows that he is going to work hard at every practice and give his best effort on game day. Overall, Tim Tebow is a courageous leader. He works hard at improving the things that are within his control and is able to ignore aspects that are out of his control. He is willing to act for the good of the organization in spite of the risks, dangers, or fears of failure. He believes in himself and this thinking inspires his teammates to believe in him as well.
Unique People Skills
Tim Tebow genuinely cares for other people. He is willing to invest time in relationships and is respectful of people’s differences. He is a good communicator that shares and receives feedback in constructive ways. He was able to capture each individual team member’s talent by recognizing their value and rewarding their contributions. By utilizing his people skills, Tim Tebow developed the unique talents of the team. He provided support that encouraged continuous improvement and motivated teammates to give a 100% effort, every day, all season long.
Ability to Execute
Tim Tebow was able to unite and drive his teammates to achieve a common goal. He clearly described and clarified the team’s mission, vision, and strategy. His ability to help people understand their role on the team has helped break down the barrier of individual statistics and accomplishment focus. Tim Tebow created a culture change within the Denver Bronco locker room. He ushered a new way of thinking that revolved around the good of the team. His words and actions always supported team unity. In a post-game interview, he said, “I don’t think it’s ‘Tebow Time’; I just think it’s ‘Bronco Time,’ and the team steps up as a team. We play for one another and continue to trust one another, and I think that makes all the difference in the world.” Even though he had the team aligned and on the same page, he was able to remain accountable when something went wrong. He took responsibility for his mistakes and took the necessary actions to develop areas of the game that he was weak in.
The Denver Broncos 2011 NFL season will not be soon forgotten. By changing their leader 5 games into the season, they went from losers to winners. Tim Tebow was able to foster a change in the team. Analysts from around the country pointed out that his football skill set was not good enough to lead his team to continued victories. Yet, week after week he led the Broncos to come from behind wins. Connie Diekens, a subject matter expert on leadership communication and influence, recently put out her Top Ten Influencers of 2011 list and Tim Tebow is ranked #1. Diekens said, “His unwavering faith and never-say-never resolve have captivated the nation.” Tim Tebow’s strong leadership skills, more than compensated for his underdeveloped football skills. His ability to gain trust, encourage effort and align team goals created a high performance culture that led the Denver Broncos from a losing season, straight to the NFL Playoffs.