Earlier this week I had a regular coaching session with a long standing client who expressed his disappointment that his son was not chosen to become the new school captain.
His child, we’ll call him Bill, is 11 years of age and felt confident that he would be elected to this cool new role.
Unfortunately it did not go to plan and as he was also ignored for other available leadership roles, he was shattered.
In my eagerness to see how we can support Bill, I was reminded of the extraordinary young autistic man Jason McElwain who back in 2006 came to fame in America when he did the “impossible” by playing the final four minutes of a high school basketball game, scoring 20 points which included a team record time of six 3-pointers.
Jason on that day displayed leadership that went beyond any expectation. His coach may not have picked him regularly prior to this particular game but Jason’s perseverance and spirit eventually paid off and he was finally recognised as the star he always was.
My advice to my client was simple, as Jason demonstrated, I suggested that he encourage Bill to persevere and keep his head high and over time there will be many new opportunities along the way, he is after all still a young tender 11 year old with a big future in front of him.
We can all relate a time in our lives where we were not chosen for a particular role and although we were disappointed at that moment it all worked out in the long term.
The simple message for Bill was don’t let anyone steal your dreams, just because a teacher, coach or boss did not pick you for the “captaincy” or even the team for that matter, persevere and live with the courage to have another shot and like Jason you will be one step closer to achieving your goal.
I personally can relate to this message and from the thousands of courageous people I have met in my time I am sure they also can.
I’d love to hear your personal stories and any adversity faced along the journey.