Protect Your Leadership from 5 Temptations with a Sandwich

by  Chery Gegelman  |  Leadership Development


I have a friend that loves football.  He is not super passionate about leadership, and is not a person of faith.  However, he is fascinated with Tim Tebow and convinced that Tim is the real deal!

I am passionate about leadership and about my Christian faith but I’m not a huge football fan.  So when my friend shared how closely he was following Tim, I decided I should pay more attention.  As I followed him, I too have been impressed.

Two weeks ago I had a profound moment and began to really understand the depth of the wisdom behind some of Tim’s choices.  

  1. In the book Good to Great, Jim Collins describes an extraordinary leader as a Level 5 leader and emphasizes that the most important ingredient of a Level 5 leader is humility.
  2. Bruce Wilkinson emphasizes that all leaders will face 5 temptations: Pride, Power, Possessions, Pleasure, and Position.  (When I heard Bruce speak in 2001, I remember thinking, “This is great!  Now that I have been warned, I won’t fall for those temptations.”)  …Do you see any pride there?

Imagine for a moment that you have been given the same opportunities that Tim has been given.

  • What if you win game, after game, after game and everyone is praising your uncommon ability?  Would you be tempted, even a little bit, to believe the press you are getting?
  • And what if you play a terrible game and get lots of negative press?   Would you struggle, even a little, to recover?
  • I think I would struggle on both counts.

As a part of Tim’s foundation, he spends time before and after each game with children that have life threatening illnesses and their families.   Think about that for a minute: 

  • Before he walks on the field to play a game he is reminded how precious life is, what a blessing it is to have the love and support of a family, and how much he has to be thankful for.
  • When each game ends, no matter how he played, no matter how the team played, he is reminded again of all that he has been given.
  • As he spends time with those children and their families, any temptation he may face to think that he’s all that, or to dwell on a bad day falls away.
  • And when he is reminded of all that he has, he kneels to give thanks to the one that gave it all to him.

What an incredibly simple recipe:  He has created a sandwich that keeps him focused on what really matters when he is most vulnerable to those 5 temptations. 

When are you most vulnerable to those temptations?

What will you do to create a sandwich that keeps you focused?


Chery Gegelman is one of 21 Lead Change Group Author’s from 3 countries that connected virtually and discovered a shared passion that has resulted in a new book:


The Character-Based Leader:  Instigating a leadership revolution… One person at a time.

This book encourages people everywhere to lead from WHO they are not WHERE they sit.

“Do what you can, with what you have, right where you are.” Theodore Roosevelt

“With great power, comes great responsibility.” Stan Lee, Franklin D Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Voltaire

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About The Author

Articles By chery-gegelman
Chery Gegelman was once a frustrated visionary that learned to lead extensive system-wide changes from the middle. Today she is The Founder of Giana Consulting, listed as a Great Leadership Speaker by Inc., writes a recognized leadership blog and has co-authored two books. Her passion is bringing help and understanding to people and organizations that are leading through change to growth.  »  View Profile

What People Are Saying

Glen Gaugh  |  08 Oct 2012  |  Reply

Great thoughts, Chery! Tebow is definitely a bright light in the sports world where stars burn out so quickly under those temptations you mentioned. I didn’t know about his before-and-after routine, but it is so interesting and not at all surprising. I guess my sandwich is my family- happy to be up with them in the morning, and so glad to see them in the evening. Constant regardless of the ups and downs of the day!

Thanks for a great post!

Chery Gegelman  |  09 Oct 2012  |  Reply

Glen, Thank you for sharing your thoughts! You are so right that our families can be that sandwich if we are focused and aware of how blessed we are to have them.

In the speed of life, I sometimes need to be reminded to stop and really see all that I’ve been given and to really savor each moment I’ve been given with the people I love.

Karin Hurt  |  09 Oct 2012  |  Reply

I really like the idea of sandwiching your leadership with other grounding things in life. Thanks for sharing your insights.

Chery Gegelman  |  09 Oct 2012  |  Reply

Thanks Karin! Have a great day today!

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