OCU Hosts Tim Tebow and Dr. John Maxwell

Tim Tebow at Ohio Christian University's 2012 Leadership Forum

About 2,000 people attended the Leadership Forum at Ohio Christian University (OCU) Tuesday evening to hear NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, of the New York Jets, and Dr. John C. Maxwell speak about being a leader.

This was the fifth year for the Leadership Forum with Maxwell, who is an OCU alumnus, author, speaker, and world-renowned leadership expert. Proceeds from the event go towards scholarships for OCU students.

Tebow spoke about leadership and also handling adversity, particularly when it comes to public criticism and negative press. He said he has learned not to worry about things he cannot control.

"It's something you have to constantly try to remind yourself because no matter what you do at all times you're going to have people who are going to want to pull you down regardless of what you stand up for," Tebow said. "If you stand up for anything, people are going to want to pull you down, so I think for me it was about setting my priorities in order, trying to live up to them and not worrying about what everybody else was doing.

"If I was living with character, strength and honor, and if I was doing what's right, doing my best and treating others the way I want to be treated, they can write whatever they want. I can't control that, but I can only worry about what I can control."

He said he tries to set an example and be a good role model. He explained that it is important to love what you do, be passionate and be willing to sacrifice more than anyone else. He said that everyone is a leader or a role model because everyone has at least one person looking up to them.

"Someone is probably watching you, and their life is affected either in a good way or in a bad way because of what you do," Tebow said.

Tebow, who is the son of missionaries, also spoke about his Christian faith and his charitable work through the Tim Tebow Foundation. Tebow finished his time at the forum by presenting a $10,000 scholarship to OCU.

Tebow also mentioned that he is a fan of The Ohio State University.

"I'd say in the next three years, if I was a betting man, I would have to put some money on Ohio's State's probably going to win a national championship with Coach (Urban) Meyer," he said.

Among the young fans of Tebow at Tuesday's event were Isaac, Holden and Mason Roese, brothers from Circleville who attend New Hope Christian School.

"I'm a football fan, so I kind of follow Tim Tebow," said Isaac, who is 12 years old and plays football. "He's a good Christian man, and he's good at football."

Mason Roese, age 14, became interested in Tebow through reading his book. He said he was impressed by Tebow's Christian faith and by the fact that he does not let the atmosphere around him change him, and he added that Tebow is a good role model.

OCU Received a $10,000 Scholarship from the Tebow FoundationRoese Brothers Paving Inc., was one of the Silver Sponsors for the Leadership Forum, and Bruce Roese, said he thinks the forum is a great event.

"We believe in leadership and being leaders ourselves, and we want to see more leaders around," Roese said. "They do a great job here, and we're proud to be part of it."

In addition to Tebow's talk and teaching from Maxwell, a new tradition began at the Leadership Forum this year as the first ever Community Leadership Award was given to Pickaway County Sheriff Dwight Radcliff.

"He is the longest-serving sheriff in America," said Dr. Mark Smith, OCU president, when presenting Radcliff with his award. "That's pretty awesome to have him right here in Pickaway County."

Don McIlroy, Circleville mayor, presented a key to the city to Maxwell in appreciation for what he has done for the community. He said the key is a symbol of all the minds Maxwell has opened up.

Close to $800,000 has been raised in scholarships through the Leadership Forum during the last five years.

BY MATT LUCAS, STAFF REPORTER for the Circleville Herald