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Leadership

Management lessons from the gridiron Add to ...

Managing talent

Leadership coach Scott Eblin believes we can all learn something from the way John Elway, executive vice-president of football operations for the NFL’s Denver Broncos, handled the recent switch in quarterbacks.

When Tim Tebow came off the bench last year and led the team to unexpected victories – drawing massive attention as well because of his overt displays of religious faith – Mr. Elway was a bit of a wet blanket. “He was polite and sparing in his praise for Tebow because he couldn’t see a long-term plan for winning with the guy,” Mr. Eblin writes on .

When the chance came to recruit Peyton Manning, a veteran star quarterback, Mr. Elway flew to meet with him, apparently the only official from interested teams to do so. “It’s a relatively small thing, but Manning noticed. When you’re recruiting top talent you’re selling yourself to them at least as much as they’re selling themselves to you. [Mr.]Elway understood that,” Mr. Eblin said.

And in edging out Mr. Tebow, who since moved to the New York Jets, Mr. Elway also displayed class, reportedly going out of his way to communicate directly with Mr. Tebow, whom he generously praised: “He is a great kid. If there is one guy I want to marry my daughter, it’s him.”

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