Author’s Note: The following article is written by Steve Biondo, president of the Tim Tebow Foundation. Here, he shares some reflections on leadership in his work and mission as he leads in the day-to-day operations of the Tim Tebow Foundation.
God ordains our steps for a mission that He has for us. And to build a high-impact organization, it always starts with the mission in mind. “Mission” is powerful, clarifying and freeing. Whatever you do, it is always about the mission—do not get distracted.
There are many that will want you to join their mission. Unless you are clearly called to a unique partnership, stay with those who either enable your mission or are called to join your mission.
The Mission of the Tim Tebow Foundation
At the Tim Tebow Foundation, our mission calls us into chaos, crisis and deep need around the world. The work we are called to and that which is always in focus for us is represented in four main areas. These areas of need include:
- Orphan care and prevention.
- People with special needs.
- Children with life-threatening illnesses.
- Anti-human trafficking, including prevention, rescue and restoration.
These are demanding areas of ministry, often very intense. It requires a real calling to serve in these areas of impact. Embracing values and non-negotiables can empower you to lead and serve in these areas effectively.
Values and Non-Negotiables
When establishing a mission and living it out in practical, effective ways, values are essential. These values are the behaviors that the entire team is called and committed to. These values are not to be compromised. They are the framework for which you hire, recognize performance, promote opportunities and celebrate successes.
In addition to values, organizations should be driven by non-negotiables as well. These steadfast beliefs guide our where and with whom we invest, pace and decision making.
At the Tim Tebow Foundation, we hold onto five main non-negotiables that frame and shape our mission. These five non-negotiables include:
- We are believers.
- Everyone matters.
- We are on a rescue mission.
- There’s power when we come together.
- Don’t forget.
For a more in-depth look at the power of these non-negotiables, you can watch former quarterback and NFL analyst Tim Tebow explain them on the Tim Tebow Foundation website.
Values are about the individual who is on the team.
Non-negotiables speak to the organization’s uncompromising ways of working as a unit.
The team members you bring aboard your organization heavily influence the effectiveness in which those values and non-negotiables are lived out. You can set a strategic plan in place, but without a team to act on that foundational mission, that plan may not come to fruition. Having the right people in the right places, all dedicated to the same mission, can cultivate meaningful change.
In our work at the Tim Tebow Foundation, we look for what we call “ballers.” In this sports analogy, we see these people as those who go all out for the mission of the organization. They don’t hold back. They make every play count. They train hard, are in the gym first and leave when everyone else is gone.
They know about sacrifice, surrender, walking by faith and not by fear. They are willing to suffer much for the mission and for the lives that that mission seeks to serve. They have been through hardship and endured. They have not given up but risen up.
These are the people we want to fight with us. We can count on them. They can be trusted to do their job. They will always be leaning in to help. They are gritty, strong in faith, bold of heart, pacesetters, leaders, adaptable, flexible, willing to stay in the fight no matter what. They are willing to put the interest of others ahead of their own interests. This is a “baller.”
They have the head, heart and hustle to be a game-changer in areas of influence and service. Our type of nonprofit work is not for everyone. We want those who are called, competent, committed and caring. In return, what we give back is holistic organizational care over our team. We seek to love and serve them physically, spiritually, intellectually, socially and emotionally.
The dynamics of having the right people, aligned around a compelling mission, in an organization that constantly equips them and releases them to do great work, creates a community of impact and a great place to both serve and work.
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