“Aha Moment” – when it clicked for me:
From an early age, I was told, “you are a leader”. I loosely understood that I needed to stand for key values or principles to earn such a badge over time. But that was only a small part of it, and as a result, my impact was limited. My first boss challenged me to “set my own standard, not to settle for the standard of others”. That has been an important calling card for me, but it still was not the ultimate call to action. Another key mentor lived by the premise that if you “think you will win, you will lose, but rather if you KNOW you will win, you just might!” Again, some interesting words to live by, but what was the definition of “winning”? Taking on the role of CEO for a large Y association brought it all together. Wealth accumulation and putting myself first gave way to social impact and selflessly serving all. Climbing the corporate ladder gave way to inverting hierarchy and putting our front line team members and community members first. After some trial and error in my own career, I’ve learned so many valuable lessons. Not the least of which is, first figure out what you are passionate about, and then figure out how to make it your mission.
In my role at the Y, I see daily evidence of the growing mental health crisis in our community. While the stresses brought on by inactivity, poor nutrition, various forms of trauma, neglect and the overuse of social media are not simply reserved for boys and young men, they are disproportionately represented. To make matters worse, this segment of our population is not the first to raise its collective hand for help. This problem is massive and will have a catastrophic impact on the health of our community. We cannot afford to squander the leadership potential of an entire generation.
Invictus’ stated purpose, mission and vision are timely and will have a significant impact on the character, values and leadership upside for boys and young men. I’ve witnessed first hand the outcomes of this work…both in individuals and groups. Aligning with Invictus has been a deeply rewarding experience.