Monday, May 14, 2012

Leadership According to Tebow: Love. Passion. Sacrifice.

I had a great time at this year's Chick-fil-a Leadercast! I was a part of the Seacoast Church (Mt. Pleasant, SC) venue where 250 of us watched fantastic leaders via simulcast pour out their hearts on being great leaders wherever you are. Both Chick-fil-a and Seacoast were fantastic hosts. You shouldn't miss next years!

One leader that stood out was Tim Tebow. I've been following him since he came on the scene at the University of Florida. But I really started paying attention to what he was saying when he became a Denver Bronco. Why? Because he was popular, controversial, a back-up and a Christian. 

I love to see how Christians react to the pressures and trials of life. Sometimes they disappoint me. Other times they inspire me. I learn a lot in both cases (and I have a lot to learn). I'll have to say, I was as impressed with him off the field as I was on (and that's saying something!). 

So I came with high expectations when I attended the Leadercast. I wanted to see how Tebow handled himself in this environment. And I was curious about what he would say. He didn't disappoint.

Sitting next to Soledad O'Brien of CNN who was between Tebow and his former college coach, Urban Meyer, he handled himself with wit, confidence, humility and grace. He wasn't the best speaker I've heard by a long shot. He was a solid interview. But what he had to say was profound and delivered well. We needed to hear what he had to say on this day.

A wrote down a couple of things as my personal takeaways...

"Don't worry about what you can't control." 

He said this over and over. It was in the context of all the controversy and craziness that happened over last season, as well as, his trade to the Jets. Meyer indicated that this is how Tebow lived while at Florida and has been personally impacted by Tebow. That's powerful when your head coach says that about you!

Love. Passion. Sacrifice.

When O'Brien asked Tebow about summing up his leadership advice, he gave three things to think about:

1. Love what you do. This fuels your passion. 

2. Be passionate about what you love to do. You'd think this would follow naturally but we allow all kinds of things to prevent us from passionately doing what we love to do. 

3. Be willing to sacrifice for what you love to do. To me, this is his most profound statement. Everyone has things they love to do. People even pursue things they love passionately. But how many are willing to sacrifice for something (or someone) they love? 

Tebow nailed it here and models it as well. That's what makes him such an inspiring role model (which he embraces contrary to the Charles Barkley's of the world).

In summary, I'll continue to monitor the airwaves for comments from Tim Tebow. I'll watch how he handles himself on and off the field. Is he perfect? No. And he'll likely stumble from time to time. But we don't need perfect role models or heros. Just those with grace and truth. Tebow gets that.

As for his leadership advice? My prayer is that God will help me connect what and who I love with a passion for Him and His church that is so strong that I'll be willing to make any sacrifice He calls me to make.