It’s been an interesting week in the world of NFL free agency. Peyton Manning was excused by his former employer prompting a recruiting frenzy for one of the industry’s top professionals. In the attempt to court this top performer to their organization the San Francisco 49ers and the Denver Broncos were forced to look at their top talent and to consider if they were good enough?
Where does your organization stand? Would you jeopardize a relationship with your upstart performers to bring in a wily veteran? More importantly, would you be prepared to deal with the potential fall out?
Enter Tim Tebow and Alex Smith: two youngsters in the NFL with accolades of their own and assumed bright futures. Both men took their teams to the playoffs last year, both men have posted exemplary statistics, and yet both men walked into work this week facing a pink slip. For Tim and Alex, successful performance met only with disappointment must be unsettling. The company brass in San Francisco and Denver disregarded the feelings of their top employees blinded by dollar signs and the shine of trophies. Such is the world we live in…..and that sucks!
How did Tim Tebow respond…like he always does. He took a lesser position with a different organization and sought to redefine his professional existence. He has been doubted his whole life and has consistently succeeded. Tim Tebow’s re-deployment is just another challenge on the check list for the modern day Rocky.
As for Alex Smith…he also exercised humility. Instead of raising a middle finger to his employer and heading for sunny Florida, he bit his lip and thanked his boss for being honest in the process. Smith did everything in his power to bring his team to a Super Bowl last year….his feeling of accomplishment drastically short lived. Adversity met only with more adversity. The applause of 2011 now drown out by more boos from the hallowed halls of his place of employment.
Leadership requires making choices, taking risks, and navigating the inevitability of unpopular feedback. In this case, the employees acted with higher integrity than their bosses. You might expect that an organization’s top performers would at least receive some loyalty in recognition of their accomplishments….no such luck!
Maintaining integrity in the face of adversity is a key leadership trait. In this case, the pupil had to remind the teacher of such.
Thank You for Reading!