Bridging Leadership Lessons from the Workplace and Those Experiences Shaping Today's Youth and Tomorrow's Leaders
One of my biggest regrets was missing out on the opportunity to celebrate with my son. A game winner in a hotly contested game against a select St.Louis team with our little underdog school team. In my desire to be viewed as a “Coach” I completely missed out on simply being a Dad.
Trailing by a point, my young son attacked the basket with time ticking down and defenders grabbing and holding him while the referees swallowed their whistle, Ethan got the shot off in traffic as the buzzer sounded and Rolla won the Championship! Ethan came running directly to me with his hands outstretched, tears of joy and relief welling up in his eyes. As tears started to form in my own eyes at the sight of him running towards me I thought my heart would burst with pride and I... I just shrug it off, trying to avoid showing favoritism to my son, during arguably, his most exciting moment at that point of his life. I immediately regretted my decision.
To make matters worse, I had to race to the airport to catch a flight out of town for work. I was dangerously close to missing my flight as I raced through security and down the terminal towards my gate as they announced the last call for my flight.
Securely on the plane, fastened in my seat, I received a text from my wife, Jenny, showing the team posing for a photo with the championship trophy and a second photo of the trophy, safely buckled into the seat in the back of the Yukon. Her text read ‘he hasn’t stopped smiling.’ As I envisioned Ethan’s smiling, 8 year old face as he clutched the giant trophy, I began to cry.
Not only did I miss the opportunity to celebrate during the moment of triumph, I then missed out on the post celebration time of reflection where you relive the moments - the stress, the excitement, the joy - all over again.
I made a vow at that moment to be true to who I am - not to who I want to be viewed as or perceived to be. Gaining respect as an unbiased, “professional” coach means absolutely nothing if it comes at the cost of being a Dad to my kids. It’s not who you think you should be or want to be, but who you NEED to be for those that matter today and Beyond Today.
Tom Brown - a husband and a father who is simply trying to make a difference. Using my experience as a Manufacturing Executive to connect leadership from the boardroom to the hardwood to help teams grow and develop to make a difference in the lives of others.