In the United States, it is almost time for football again.
Have you ever heard of a 24-year-old signing a contract that will pay him $1 million dollars a week for the next five years (Contract of $255 million with $180 million guaranteed)? Quite amazing for sure, but there was another factoid that piqued my interest. The young man is the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback and his name, Jalen Hurts.
For sure, there has been a blitz of media articles over the past few weeks, and the theme of just about every one is the same. It is summed up in three things: Capability (Talent), Character, and Coaching.
Capability: As a dual-threat quarterback, he can throw, and he can run, and he came three points from winning the Superbowl in 2023. His achievements in college ball with Alabama and Oklahoma are well documented, and he is 16-2 as an NFL starter. He was runner up for the MVP in the 22-23 NFL season, and as a senior at Oklahoma, was runner up for the Heisman Trophy. All the while, he finished his BA in communication and information science, and he is a natural leader.
Character: “It’s crucial, no matter what, that you can find your quarterback for the present and the future, and to have that person to be as sterling a character and as passionate about his craft and as dedicated as this young 24-year-old is, is remarkable,” Eagles owner Lurie noted.
“… I keep God at the center of everything,” Hurts said. “I give Him all the praise. I lean on Him all the time … I just want to set the right example, and I want to be remembered [as] someone who made a difference. You know – that’s an everyday thing. It’s something that I think about every day.” Hurts continued, I’ve been blessed to grow, learn things, and just mature. And I know God has been there the whole entire way.” He is known as a leader and example in the locker room and his character is there front and center every day.1 Alabama head coach, Nick Saban, remarked that Jalen “set a wonderful example when he was here when he was a player.” “He was an effective chief executive.”
Coaching: As the Executive VP and General Manager of the Eagles, Howard Roseman said of Hurts, “I know how much football matters to him. I know how much improving at football matters to him. I know how much he wants to be coached. I know how important it is to try to deliver a championship to this city.” Head Coach Nick Sirianni also has been quoted, “Faith is Number One for a reason. I am very grateful to God for everything.” Hurts wants to be constantly learning and improving and he has the right coach for a role model.
These three things – capability, character and coaching are vital to every Business as Mission startup. It reminded me of the story of Tim’s Coffee and Bakery in SE Asia, as told in the book Missions Disrupted: From Professional Missionaries to Missional Professionals2. Stan, the owner maintains that God is the chairman, and three “Cs” are stated as fundamental to their mission:
Character: “Tim’s is built on biblical principles which include upholding all laws to the best of our ability (Rom. 13: 1-7), making ethical and moral decisions (Deut. 25: 13-15), supporting the needs of our clients (Prov 3:27), and appropriately handing money and wealth (Prov. 28:6).”
Craftmanship: “Tim’s views its employees and vendors as its greatest resource and treats them accordingly by providing excellent compensation, practicing fair trade, and providing a safe and flexible working environment (Matt. 22:39). This is intended to create an environment in which each of our employees can achieve excellence in their craft, and ultimately, serve our customers well with high quality product and customer service (Exodus 31:3).”
Connection: Tim’s actively pursues opportunities to connect with the community in which it operates. This includes understanding the language and values of the people in our community, as well as participating in donations, sponsorships, and networking (Matt. 5:16). Tim’s also seeks to provide opportunities for employment to those who are disabled or disadvantaged, so that they can have a sustainable means of self-sufficiency (Phil. 2:4).
No two companies have the same exact working to describe what is important, but for sure business is not for everyone. The person must have a God-given penchant for business (capability), and character is vital. Additionally, one must produce quality product with excellence. Finally, community, team, and good coaching are important to every BAM endeavor.
1 There are 10 quotes on leadership and faith from Jalen Hurts at: https://briandoddonleadership.com/2023/02/11/10-quotes-on-leadership-and-faith-from-philadelphia-eagles-quarterback-jalen-hurts/
2 Larry Sharp. Missions Disrupted: From Professional Missionaries to Missional Professionals (Hendrickson Publishers: Peabody, MA. 2022).
3 Jalen Hurts’ picture, ESPN bio, https://www.espn.com/nfl/player/_/id/4040715/jalen-hurts
Larry W. Sharp, BAM Support Specialist, IBEC Ventures