As I was contemplating my website, my web developer asked me to outline how I got to be a consultant. She wanted me to retrace my path on how I got to this point in my life. As I describe on my website, it seemed to be a natural extension from my 35+ years of working for the YMCA. My interest in serving people and helping them be their best self, along with my experiences were the ingredients I saw to make a successful venture into consulting and coaching. After further review, I started thinking about how I ever got to a place of serving others.
Growing up just outside of Milwaukee, I was a sports nut. I couldn’t wait for the Sunday paper to come so I could pour over the stats of my favorite athletes. I could recite all kinds of stats. My favorite sport to follow was football and, of course, the Green Bay Packers. If you know anything about the Packers, you know their arch-rivals are the Chicago Bears. Again, I loved sports and read books about football, baseball, basketball, and Olympic athletes. I thought back to the books that truly inspired me.
“I Am Third” is a book about a great Chicago Bear, Gayle Sayers. I remember watching him and thinking he was the most impressive athlete in football. He would make seemingly impossible moves while would-be tacklers were left in his wake. And, though, he was a Bear, I was so enamored with his physical abilities. When healthy, he was a highlight reel each and every game he played. Too many knee injuries cut his football playing days short. Before his career was over, he became close friends with Brian Piccolo. It was unusual in the ‘60’s to see a black and white man become such close friends. Brian, unfortunately, came down with cancer and succumbed to the disease, while inspiring his friend, Sayers, to write this book of inspiration and commitment to a friend.
The full quote that inspired “I Am Third” is “The Lord is first, my friends are second, and I am third.” I thought a lot about that quote, and I believe it was instrumental in getting me to where I am today. Inspired to serve people and make my mark by leaving a legacy that others can draw on. I’ve tried to live my life as best I could to this quote. I can say that I haven’t always been successful, and it is a guidepost that I remind myself of throughout my work. I know that when I get down on life, my path out is to serve others and I believe that is how I got to where I am now.
What inspires you to do what you do? Are their things from your childhood that helps explain your path, your “why”?
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