“Your height is a blessing,” his grandmother assured him. Teased by his classmates as the tallest kid in class, Kevin wasn’t so sure.
His mother, Wanda, encouraged his participation in sports. Raising her family in Suitland, Maryland – a tough neighborhood outside Washington, D.C. – she hoped team sports would help keep him and his brother Anthony, out of trouble. She created the opportunity for Kevin to become more than the tallest kid in class.
Who will you become?
The timeless question adults like to ask a kid is: “What do you want to do when you grow up?” But the people development question deals with being – after all, we are human beings. So, “Who do you want to be?”
That question explores character – what we do when no one is looking grows from who we are. Character determines your response regardless of circumstances. It’s doing the right thing for the right reasons and it’s a journey.
To become the person you want to be requires faith, hope, and love. To become who you were created to be requires conviction, confidence, and community. Character is foundational to a truly successful life.
Character qualities like attentiveness, compassion, decisiveness, diligence, forgiveness, generosity, gratefulness, humility, loyalty, orderliness, resourcefulness, self-control, tolerance, or wisdom show up because you develop such traits. Being the tallest kid in class is the gift. To become an effective leader requires intentional development.
The rest of Kevin’s Story
Check out this great video where Wanda Pratt shares their story.
Kevin took grandma’s words to heart regarding his “height blessing.” While a highly skillful professional basketball player, he is admired by most for who he has become, his leadership.
Character allows us to reach our full potential. Who you become is as important, if not more important, than what you do in life. Said another way, who you become defines the reach of your influence. Successful people, while technically capable, are people smart.
Emotional intelligence allows you to lead and expands your influence; technical ability only gets you the job offer.
Fresh Start 2014
Start this New Year by reflecting on your leadership development journey:
- Who have you become as a result of the past 365 days? Today, I’m more…
- What’s been harder than you thought in pursuit of your dream?
- What do you need more of as you write Chapter 2014; conviction (faith), confidence (hope), or community (love)?
- What’s your “duty” in life? My main purpose in life is…
- What are you living for that requires “sacrifice?” I’m willing to sacrifice in order to…
- Wanda’s reward was connected to how her son look at her. What’s the reward you are looking for? At the end of my life I want to be known as…
“I want Kevin to become the man he would want to look up to,”
– Wanda Pratt
Kevin’s story – like the one you are writing – demands he become more than a boy with a “blessing.” His influence continues to expand as he becomes a leader of his own life, just like you.
Last question: How must you change in order to be the person you would look up to?
Here’s to your 2014 – another Fresh Start,
Photo credit: Joel Bedford via Compfight