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John Elway for Manager of the Year?

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in The Next Level

While fans of Tim Tebow will likely vehemently disagree, I’d have to put John Elway, executive vice president of football operations for the Denver Broncos, in the running for manager of the year. And not just NFL manager of the year; anybody’s manager of the year. Let me be the first to acknowledge that I enjoyed Tebowmania and Tebow Time as much as anyone. As I wrote here during football season, I thought Tebow and his coach Jon Fox did a masterful job of figuring out how to use his skillset to maximum advantage. For most of their run together, Elway came across as the wet blanket at the party. He was polite but sparing in his praise for Tebow because he couldn’t see a long-term plan for winning with the guy. Elway may have been right or wrong on that call. We won’t know how it plays out for the Broncos on that front because Elway went out and got himself Peyton Manning this week. In moving Tebow aside for Manning, Elway did what a lot of managers have to do or at least should do. In his assessment, he had a good guy working for him that he didn’t think was going to work out over the long run. Especially with the pressure from Tebow fans in Denver and across the country, it would have been easy for Elway to keep Tim, let it ride and see what happened. After all, things could get better. (How many times have you heard that in performance management discussions?) Instead, Elway decided to make the move and go out and get the best quarterback available for his team. Here are three lessons from Elway that I think managers should keep in mind for the next time they face a talent management dilemma:
  • Stay True to Your Standards: In his role at the Broncos, Elway is charged with ensuring the long-term success of his team. You can agree or disagree with how he wants to build the team, but it’s his call and he stayed true to his standards when there was a lot of pressure to fold on them.
  • Take the Extra Steps: As reported on ESPN and elsewhere, Elway flew to see Peyton Manning rather than the other way around. Of all the people who wanted Manning, Elway was apparently the only one who made the trip to see him. 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. Elway understood that.
  • Show Some Grace and Class: Elway’s Manning/Tebow switch was one of those classic it’s not personal, it’s business situations. As reported by Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel, Elway went out of his way to communicate directly with Tebow and to say only the best things about him. “He is a great kid,” Elway said. “If there is one guy I want to marry my daughter it’s him.” That said, your son-in-law doesn’t have to be your starting quarterback. In a difficult situation for Tebow, Elway did what he could to show respect for him. That’s worth remembering the next time you have to replace someone because the standards for the job don’t match up with their abilities.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

DMars March 23, 2012 at 6:45 pm

I believe that Forrest Gump said ” stupid is a stupid does”. If you know
anything about John Elway, you will know that when he came to the
Broncos he said he didn’t want to be head coach or general manager.
So he is executive vice president of football operations, which is a made
up title that management gave him. He has no real business experience, or knowledge when it comes to management or negotiations. He is simply a front man. If you think he negotiated the trade after a one year with the Broncos then you haven’t done your homework. !) A day before Manning’s trade was confirmed, he said that neither the Jets nor the Jaguars were contacted regarding Tewbow. That is not true. He also said that the Broncos were not a Super Bowel team with Tebow. What he should have said was that the Broncos were not a Super Bowel team. Elway never supported Tebow and never aided or assisted him in any way. If you think The Broncos gave Tebowa choice where he was going, then you were probably busy doing your job as a neighborhood organizer. Manning, an old Colt with
one hoof left is laughing all the way to the bank. He outsmarted them all. Ask Joe Montana, John Unitas and Bret Favre how much they go when they moved on. What Tebow does remains to be seen, unless you believe one year always determines a future. John Elway has a bright future, he can sell cars or put some of his own money into his Orange Crush and restart the arena league. John Elway was a great
quarterback but as a man he can’t hold a candle to Tim Tebow.


Susan March 21, 2012 at 2:51 pm

John Elway needs his head examined!! He got Tim Tebow for a year and then threw him away? I understand Peyton Manning has been a great football player in the past, but after so many surgeries on his back and neck he is not the same player!! Why take someone young and strong both physically and as a leader for this team and toss him aside after one season?? It is not right!! He got your team rallied and fired up to play!! This is a bad decisions!! I hope Peyton can play the way you want him to and wish no ill on him…but Tim Tebow deserved better than this! Shame!!


Martin March 21, 2012 at 11:50 am

John Elway is Executive Vice President of Football Pperations for the Denver Broncos. Brian Xanders is the General Manager.


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