From an early age, I depended on people in my life that I thought were influencers. I depended upon them to help unlock my potential and to see the best in me. These people were my teachers, my coaches, and my parents.
As you can imagine, I was disappointed more often than not.
I remember one time in fourth grade. I was sitting at my desk. All of a sudden, my teacher became red-faced. You could visibly see the anger flow from his toes to the top of his head. He started to light me up. Although I don’t remember exactly what I did, I do remember exactly what he said.
He said, “Kirk, go home and tell your parents that you’re dumb. Can you do that, Kirk?” A lot of people don’t say those words outright. However, they behave that way – or worse.
What do you think this did to a fourth grader? It had a profound effect on me. I started to believe those words and had to drop down to the lowest math class.
Thankfully, there were other leaders in my life that believed in me. They saw something in me that I didn’t see myself.
I latched on to those leaders and started to study them.
I started to realize the dynamics and differences between leaders. Those leaders were the difference between causing inspiring change and limiting growth – even to a fourth grader.
That story illustrates why I do what I do. I firmly believe that nothing impacts the health, the wealth and the happiness of others more than a leader. Nothing grows without great leaders.
No organization, no business, no nonprofit, no church, no country, no government, nothing has performed at a 9 or 10 with leadership that was a 5 or 6. It doesn’t happen.
I’ve committed my life to not just growing leaders, but helping them grow something bigger.
However, there are three bigger reasons why I do what I do. They are my three daughters: Lauryn, McKenna and Sloan. I want to make sure these three girls understand they’re loved. I want to make sure they understand the character of a leader. I want to be a father who cares and nurtures them. I want them to understand the difference between right and wrong.
One day, I left for work and when I got back they had grown up.
If you have grown kids, you get it. It happens with a blink of an eye. Those precious moments come and go so quickly.
Today, my work is done. My work is not done being a dad and loving them. But what I can put in them is now done. It’s your turn.
The reasons I care about developing, maturing, sharing, walking next to and carrying other leaders is because these three girls may work in your organization.
I want them to have the best opportunity under the best leadership. I want them to make an impact in your organization and their community.
Why I do what I do? I realized how terrible leadership can hurt, even when I was little. The reasons I do this? Lauryn, McKenna and Sloan.
Why do you do what you do? What causes you to get out of the bed in the morning and hit the floor with the passion, vigor, and discipline?