One of the biggest disappointments I experienced growing up was finding out that a favorite coach was not the man of character that I believed he was. Before I become too critical of this man to emphasize my point on authenticity, let me stress a couple of very important points. First, I have always been taught to judge a man by his achievements and not his failures, but most importantly not to judge. Second, this coach was instrumental in my success as an athlete and the formation of my character. Quite simply, I would not be the man I am today without his guidance. With this being noted, I watched this man’s life collapse because of his inability to live a life of authenticity. He presented himself to society as a man of character, discipline, and honor, but behaved in a manner contrary to the virtues he taught. It eventually cost him his credibility, his marriage, and his job.
Invest in Others
My coach identified a talent within me that I did not even know that I had. He spent time with me and helped me to discipline myself. He took an interest when no one else did, and even more importantly gave me an opportunity to compete when no else thought I was ready. He held me to a higher standard. He praised me when I succeeded and encouraged me when I struggled. I thought the world of him.
Sometime during my years playing college football I heard of his demise and the troubles he faced. I attempted to return the support and encouragement he had given me years earlier. It is very difficult to support someone when they are accused of many wrongs. To my surprise he told me point-blank to not be involved with him because he was in fact guilty of all he was accused of doing and he didn’t want my reputation blemished. He leaned on the old adage, “He made his bed, and now he had to lay in it.” I was in shock.
To my surprise, however, he provided me with another great life lesson. He took responsibility for his actions.
My coach was not alone. How many times do we pick up the newspaper or turn on the television and see someone being accused of the actions they seem absolutely incapable of doing. Yet, as time goes by, they confess, and we find the accusations to be true.
Living an authentic life is paramount to maintaining your credibility as a leader and leaving a lasting impact on others. You cannot lead by telling others, “Do as I say, not as I do.” That will not work.
March is a month of transformation and transition in both the seasons around us, from Winter to Spring, and within us as we progress through The Holy Season of Lent. Examine your authenticity and reflect on areas that might need attention.
Kelly Croy is a chalk artist and professional speaker. His presentations have entertained and amazed audiences across the nation including corporations, schools, churches, conferences, and numerous other venues where people come together to be entertained and improve their lives. Please consider booking Kelly for your next event.