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One of the great stories over the past few months has been the unpredictable success of Tim Tebow, quarterback for the NFL’s Denver Broncos.

Tebow was a great collegiate player who won two national championships and the Heisman Trophy at the University of Florida.

Despite criticism from football experts that he lacks the necessary skills, the 24-year-old Tebow has taken over a leadership role for the Broncos and led them to a string of victories in recent months.

He also does considerable missionary work for his church and is always willing to take time to spend a few minutes with a child suffering from a troubling disease.

But set that stuff aside. Tebow has a more useful purpose in today’s world. In recent months, Tebow has shown the character and determination that we’d like to see in any member of our work force. He has faced obstacle after obstacle in his professional career, yet his on-field performances have repeatedly surpassed what anyone could have expected.

In many ways, Tebow is a shining role model for the American worker. Here are some of the elements that he has used to get where he is now.

Talent — sure, Tebow is 6’3”, 240 pounds, extremely athletic, and just plain tough. But the NFL has a lot of bigger, stronger, and faster players. Tebow just seems to maximize his talent more than others.

Work Ethic — Tebow puts in very long hours. He studies film hours upon hours and spends lots of time discussing strategies with coaches. Then he goes to the gym and the practice field and works as hard as anyone.

Perseverance — Tebow has embraced the game of football with an unmatched passion. It doesn’t matter to him that football experts think he is lacking in basic skills, as long as he gets a chance. He seems to have the confidence that as long as he strives for victory, he will eventually attain it.

Improvement — “My job is to get better,” Tebow says. You get the feeling that he really understands that no matter how skilled he may be or how many wins his team may compile, there is always room for improvement.

Role Model — Tebow understands that to be a leader on a professional football team means you become a role model for tens of thousands of kids. He willingly accepts that challenge and seems to see that his success on the football field translates into a larger role as a leader in his community.

What employer wouldn’t welcome these traits in any worker? A skilled, motivated worker who is determined to succeed, lead others and constantly improve are pretty good qualities for any worker.

Let’s not lose perspective. Tebow is only a football player — someone who is privileged to make millions of dollars because he has physical skills that others don’t. Frankly, there is only a small segment of the world that really cares if the Tebow and the Broncos win football games. But Tebow has transcended his role as a football player, and we would be remiss if we didn’t examine his life for ways we can all do our jobs better, no matter what obstacles may confront us.

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