Employee Work Ethic: Why Every Manager Should Want a Tim Tebow

from http://www.flickr.com/people/goynang/

I’ll freely admit it; I bleed orange.

I’ve loved the Denver Broncos with all my heart since my dad took me to Mile High Stadium when I was only 7 to see them play the evil Oakland Raiders. (The Broncos were trounced that day, but I’ve been a fan ever since.)

I say that at the risk of you dismissing this post as one coming from a ‘homer’ who’s just lovin’ on his team’s QB. You need to know that I have been an outspoken critic of Tim Tebow’s quarterbacking skills since he was brought off the bench to rescue my team’s dismal 1-4 season.

All the while he’s been winning close games with miraculous finishes, I’ve been praying that Denver can swing a deal for much better passer to lead them into the future. Even after a terrific performance in the playoffs against the legendary Pittsburgh Steelers, I still remain unconvinced that Tebow’s “the guy.”

The poster child of Work Ethic

That does not make me a Tim Tebow hater. In fact, I absolutely love the guy as a leader and a competitor. Tebow’s a player you want on your team, but it is not because of his size, his skills, or his football acumen. The reason every team, every company, and every organization needs Tim Tebow is because of his incredible, inarguable, indisputable work ethic.

Tim Tebow is the modern day poster child of Work Ethic. I should know — I wrote the book on work ethic..

In that new book, Reviving Work Ethic, I define work ethic as “knowing what to do and doing it, marked by seven core values: Positive Attitude, Reliability, Professionalism, Initiative, Respect, Integrity, and Gratitude.”

How Tebow grades out

Using that standard and being as harsh of an evaluator as I can be, let’s see how Tim Tebow grades out:

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  1. Positive Attitude — Ever seen the guy frown? Drop an F-bomb? Throw a helmet at the ref? Get in a scuffle with another player? Give a snarky reply when criticized by a reporter, or do anything other than be the model of sportsmanship and enthusiasm? I bet my house you haven’t, and trust me, he’s had many reasons to gripe and many opportunities to lash out. Grade: A+
  2. Reliability — He’s the first one on the field and the last one off the field, regardless if we’re talking about a practice or a championship game. Ask anyone he plays with, for, or against; Tebow’s as reliable as they come. Grade: A+
  3. Professionalism — Tim Tebow is the consummate professional. He’s always neatly groomed and arrives totally prepared, and he wears his team’s uniform with pride. He shares any credit he is given with his coaches, teammates, and fans, and he never criticizes anyone when he’s under fire. Grade: A
  4. Initiative — When it comes to going above and beyond what’s required, Tebow’s your guy. He’ll never go easy on one play to rest from the previous or to reserve strength for the next. He only has one speed, and it’s “all out.” Tim’s all about improving himself and every aspect of his game from week to week and he’s never content to live on a past success. You may not always like the results, but you’ll never find reason to criticize his effort. Grade: A+
  5. Respect — Tebow has been widely criticized for being too public about his passion for Jesus, and that makes him a target for reporters who want to see him do something stupid. But Tebow lives his faith 24/7, and although he is far from perfect, he holds himself up to a very strict code of conduct on and off the field. He plays by the rules, stays within the lines, and he is considered one of the most coachable players in the game. Grade: A
  6. Integrity — The dude couldn’t lie if his life depended on it. Nuff said. Grade: A+
  7. Gratitude –– Beyond his buoyant personality and friendly demeanor, Tebow is very active in the community and willingly gives his time to serve others. In spite of all the celebrity status that has been heaped on him, he remains humble and approachable. He understands that his salary is paid by the fans, and he can be seen after practice signing autographs long after lesser known players have headed to the locker room. Grade: A+

Tim Tebow’s Work Ethic GPA = 4.0

Yes folks, I’m a card-carrying flag-waving fan of Tim Tebow’s work ethic. He’s currently starring center stage in the NFL, and that gives us reason to talk about work ethic. But as I honor him, so too do I take my hat off to the many Tebow-esque employees that you’ll never hear about; those who possess the same core values and same commitment to continual self-improvement that we’re seeing on display in a #15 jersey.

The Tebow’s at work may not always be the most skilled people in their respective organizations, but they are, without question, the most valuable.

This was originally published on Eric Chester’s Reviving Work Ethic blog. His new book is Reviving Work Ethic: A Leader’s Guide to Ending Entitlement and Restoring Pride in the Emerging Workforce. For copies, visit revivingworkethic.com.

Eric Chester is a leading voice in the global dialogue on employee engagement, and building a world-class workplace culture. He's an in-the-trenches researcher on the topic of the millennial mindset, and the dynamics of attracting, managing, motivating and retaining top talent. Chester is a Hall-of-Fame keynote speaker and the author of 4 leadership books including his newly released Amazon #1 Bestseller On Fire at Work: How Great Companies Ignite Passion in their People without Burning Them Out.  Learn more at EricChester.com and follow him at @eric_chester