Tim Tebow: A Leader Who Inspires, Puzzles and Scares People

Posted 12.12.2011

It’s not often that I write about the same subject twice in less than a month on this blog. Even though I wrote How to Set Your Tebow’s Up For Success just three weeks ago, I’m making a brief exception this afternoon. After the Denver Broncos made yet another comeback yesterday in the last two minutes of regulation and then overtime against the Chicago Bears, Tim Tebow has moved from a national sports story to just a flat out national news story.

For as many people who are inspired by Tebow’s leadership, story and faith, there may be as many who are puzzled by him or are scared of him. I say that for two reasons.

First, from a pure football standpoint, there are a lot of professional commentators who are having their faith in their conventional wisdom challenged. As I noted in the November post on Tebow, to set a guy like him up for success, you have to challenge the conventional wisdom. In any field, not just sports broadcasting, the people who have a lot invested in the conventional wisdom will get angry and scared when it’s challenged. It takes a lot of leadership to go up against that successfully. Kudos to Denver coach Jon Fox and Tebow for doing so.

Second, there aren’t many people who are more upfront about their religious faith than Tebow. When the announcers on yesterday’s game were saying things after the Broncos win like “if you weren’t a believer before this game, you almost have to be now,” I kind of wondered if they were talking about football or faith. The inexplicable can certainly puzzle people. From a pure football standpoint, what Tebow and the Broncos have done the past couple of months is rather inexplicable. It does feel bigger than football. What is it exactly? I thought Frank Bruni gave as good an answer as anyone in the New York Times yesterday when he wrote:

“For Tebow that state of mind comes from his particular relationship with his chosen God and is a matter of religion. For someone else it might be understood and experienced as the power of positive thinking, and is a matter of psychology. Either way it boils down to stubborn optimism and bequeaths a spark.”

Whether you love him, hate him or are scared of him, it’s almost impossible to deny that Tim Tebow is a leader who gets results. What’s your take on how he does it?