“Your son has some, well…. challenges,” the teacher began.
“Such as,” asked the mother.
“Well, reading is an issue in multiple areas, especially out loud and comprehension. Same with math, the concepts just aren’t working in his mind. His writing is compromised and his handwriting is illegible. He seems fine with social skills and making friends, but we are a bit concerned he is doing odd things with his face and mouth which are distracting to others,” she continued.
“What can we do to help him?” the mother inquired.
“We recommend first you stay after class and assist him in extra reading, or we will need to hold him back. First grade is an excellent time to hold a child back who is struggling or behind. We also recommend a speech therapist, who would double as a psychologist due to some of the issues we are noticing,” the teacher concluded.
This may sound like the beginning of the movie Forrest Gump, but it was actually my 1st Grade teacher, Ms. Davis, attempting to break it to my Mother that I had a few issues. Genetic and learned.
So she did what any Mom would do: She packed me a sack, put it on the end of a stick, handed me a harmonica and bid me farewell.
Actually, that’s probably what she wanted to do, but instead, since she’s an amazing Mom, she came to school every day, became the Homeroom Mom for my entire youth, and sat after class reading with me, making sure I got rid of the challenges of reading, writing, and well, Math never panned out, but you can always guess the answers!
Mom taught me by example that this was going to take hard work and her mentoring, her much needed help. So we tackled it.
On my Dad’s side, he saw there was a problem by about 5th Grade when all I was decent at was practicing handwriting and cursive (a much needed skill today) and drawing. One day he came into my bedroom with a stack of books. He sat next to me on the bed and began into his normal sermon-epistle-mix-pep-talk:
“Son, school was very easy for me. I got all good grades, aced every paper, won the spelling bee all while holding down a few after school jobs, practiced basketball, had 7 or 8 girlfriends, and am a self-taught guitarist. This was before I turned 10. Now that you’re that age I would like to give you the secret to what you really need to know to succeed in life. If you’ll read these books, internalize them, and really ponder their meaning, you will succeed beyond that of anyone you know. I know you can. You have it in you, because I’m your father.”
He laid out each book before me –
As A Man Thinketh by James Allen
How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino
The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale
Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Spiritual Roots of Human Relations by Stephen Covey
At this point I was still trying to get through the Spot The Dog series, so this was quite a stretch. But he challenged me anyway and expected an oral report on each.
I remember that night laying in bed and picking up The Greatest Salesman in the World, since I figured my Dad wrote it, but it was by some guy with this cool name – Og Mandino – and I attempted to make it through the first page. Something about this sales person named Hafid and these scrolls I had to read daily before I could even move on to the next page! So I spent the next 30 days reading the First Scroll. Multiple times per day, as prescribed. Reporting to my Dad he expected me to have it memorized, but little did he realize I could barely remember to turn off the sink when I brushed, so he had to settle for my word that I was really reading it over and over again.
Eventually I made it through every book – at least I flipped through the pages looking for pictures – but then something snapped inside of me when I realized my Dad was giving me permission to comprehend these and not worry as much about school at this age, and that gave my mind free space to accept these writings.
My Dad taught me, through the example of his self-made career and success, that it just really took hard, smart work. Yes you’ll need a few things to go your way, but be aggressive at times and take risks here and there, just always commit to the work.
Truth is: I was born of goodly parents.
We recently celebrated Mother’s Day, and the next day was my Father’s Birthday.
I see them now from my 40 year vantage point and am so very grateful to have had these two Legends in my life. As my parents even. Wow.
They Mentored me, they were Legendary Leaders ~ my Mom in her selfless service and never-ending belief in my potential, my Dad in his motivation and cheerleading of my dream.
Their Signature Moves and Promise to share these gifts helped establish my whole life.
What does this have to do with you and your business?
Leaders see success in those they lead, even when those being led can’t yet see.
They lay out a plan for success.
They do what it takes to never give up on an individual.
Whether you’re the CEO, upper management, or running the household, I challenge you this week to make a Promise that you will see in others what they don’t see, encourage and empower, inspire and lift.
Need a helpful exercise? Teach them Identify * Clarify * Magnify to help discover and refine their unique Signature Moves.
You will change a life this week!
Who will it be for you this very week? At home, my focus is mentoring my 12 year old son, who is going through life’s physical and emotional changes, he needs some Dad one-on-one time right now;
At work, I am mentoring a Hall of Fame Speaker friend who is working toward giving greater presentations by utilizing his personal stories through vulnerability and being entertaining, amidst a perfectly analytical presentation that could be even better.
Who will you extend a hand to, and truly lead, as a Mentor this week?
This is your official Promise Challenge!
Leadership Expert * Author * Speaker Hall of Fame * Award-Winning Entertainer
The Promise: Become a Legendary Leader and discover your Signature Moves
Ready to become a Professional Speaker? Let Jason show you how click here