Tim Tebow: A true “Fearless Leader”
Tim Tebow’s six comeback wins in recent weeks for the Denver Broncos have been so incredibly improbable that some say it’s divine intervention (some seriously, others tongue in cheek). Not since the 1972 Pittsburgh Steelers Franco Harris “immaculate reception,” dubbed the greatest play in NFL history by NFL Films, have people so strongly suggested that divine intervention played a role in a football game’s outcome. (Here’s a video of the famous play.)
Let’s set aside divine intervention for this article and examine the intangible Fearless Leader qualities that make Tebow a great leader. Cathy Greenberg, Ph.D., a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author, and I define a Fearless Leader as one who:
1) Acts with inspired courage.
2) Reacts with resilience (mental toughness).
3) Thinks from a higher consciousness (spirituality).
4) Excels with unrelenting fire (passion).
How does Tim Tebow fit the mold of a Fearless Leader?
Tebow acts with inspired courage. He has the courage to be different, to be himself, to openly state what he believes and to be undeterred by all the pundits who predict he’ll fail. Tebow has the courage to always be positive and believe in himself and his teammates, and he inspires his team by doing so. He also has the courage to put his head down and run the football through defensive lineman to make critical, drive-sustaining first downs when necessary.
Tebow reacts with resilience, or mental toughness. This involves the ability to positively adapt to adversity, stress, trauma or even tragedy – to bounce back from negative events. Tebow seems unfazed by playing poorly for three quarters or more, which he has in most games he’s started this year. He recovers and leads winning comebacks. Resilience is so critical to success not only for athletes but also for leaders, entrepreneurs and sales professionals who regularly face disappointments, setbacks and losses.
Tebow thinks with a higher consciousness. He does everything with a focus beyond himself. As a quarterback, he’s an unselfish team player. First in college and now in the pros, he plays for his team, coaches and fans. His belief in his teammates is so strong that he raises their belief in themselves and the team.
Outside football, he’s clear in his higher purpose and has established the Tim Tebow Foundation, a nonprofit foundation whose mission is to bring faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need. At only 24 years old, Tebow is an admirable example of the higher consciousness we need from leaders in all fields. What worldly impact would there be if all businesses and families were led with even a portion of Tebow’s higher consciousness thinking?
Finally, Tebow excels with unrelenting fire. He has an effusive passion for life, service to God, others, and being a great leader and football player. His passion fuels his unrelenting drive to win in football and to serve God and those less fortunate than he.
Tebow is a Fearless Leader in the sports world demonstrating inspired courage, resilience, higher consciousness thinking and exceling with unrelenting fire. But what special sauce allowed him to become a Fearless Leader? Some of it is emotional intelligence, an intelligence that research now suggests is more important in business and sales success than technical knowledge.
Emotional intelligence can be defined as the ability to use one’s emotions intelligently and appropriately in different situations. Emotionally intelligent people intentionally use their thinking and behavior to guide their emotions rather than letting their emotions dictate their thinking and behavior (do you know people like this)?
Marty Lassen, Vice President of Complete Intelligence, is a strategic partner of Cathy’s and mine who has taught executives and managers emotional intelligence for more than a decade worldwide. She told us that Tebow’s public behavior and team leadership indicate a high level of emotional intelligence.
“He is personally confident and inspiring and he creates a positive chemistry – on and off the field,” she said. “He expects excellence from himself and others and as we are seeing, he often gets it!”
Lassen says Tebow exhibits a number of the 16 emotional intelligence traits she assesses and teaches.
“It is likely that he is off the charts on several, including: optimism (has a positive attitude about life), stress tolerance (copes well with stressful situations), social responsibility (a desire to contribute to others), self-regard (has self-respect and confidence) and self-actualization (the ability to pursue and achieve your potential),” she said.
Everyone wonders, “How does Tebow keep winning?” Maybe it is divine intervention. Who knows? Some folks would say, “Only God knows!” We don’t know all the reasons, but we do know that Tebow apparently has the emotional intelligence associated with great success and all the qualities of a true Fearless Leader.
For information on coaching and training to become a Fearless Leader, go here. To learn more about emotional intelligence, go here. (Fearless Leaders is a trademark of TC North, Ph.D. and Cathy Greenberg, Ph.D.)