Parents, step up & lead, please
Leslie, assistant manager for a restaurant chain in Yakima, Washington, told Session 3B of the Leadership Development Lab:
"During the summer between my junior and senior year in high school, my dad got transferred from Wyoming to Southern California. The school I attended in Thermopolis, Wyoming had about 350 students in the whole school. What a culture shock I was in for! I spent most of my senior year keeping to myself. There were just way too many people around. I didn't know anyone. I was used to being the 'popular kid,' the school clown, the great athlete. I was a starter for volleyball, basketball, and softball. I had a reason to go to school. I loved it and everyone loved me. When I got to California, it was too late to go out for volleyball, and by the time basketball tryouts came around, I just wanted to go 'home' to Wyoming, so I didn't try out.
"When the announcement came out for softball tryouts, I wasn't into it. I didn't' know the girls on the team, they had been playing together for years, and no way was I going to make the team. I had an excuse for every argument my parents gave for why I should try out. They tried for two weeks to get me to go to tryouts and I held my ground. They put my equipment on my bed; I put it back in the box. They put my trophies and awards out on my dresser; I put them back in the drawer. After all, this misery I was in was 'their fault for moving me to this forsaken place.' The day of tryouts came, and much to my surprise, when I got into my car to drive to school, all of my softball gear was on the passenger side of my car with a note from my mom with four big bold words on it – 'YOU WILL REGRET IT.' I thought about that all day and when school got out and tryouts began, I went. I am still not sure why I showed up, but in the back of my mind I was probably thinking I should show my parents that I was right and they were wrong by not making the team.
"After two days of tryouts, the list was posted and I had made the team. All of a sudden, girls that had shunned me were my friends. Practices started and I became a starter before the first game. We only lost two games all year and won the California state championship. I wanted a redo on my senior year.
"The lesson I learned from this experience is that without risk, there truly is no reward. The action I call you to take is take the risk, 'try out.' You won't always succeed, but when you do, it is so worth all the times you might not succeed.
"The benefit you will gain is confidence and knowledge. Every time you try something outside your comfort zone, you will grow and learn from the experience, even when things don't work out as planned."
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