Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Life's lessons, as with life's opportunities, take many forms. Some are easily learned, foreseen and seized while others are not so readily recognized, understood or engaged. Some are anticipated, created, cultivated and hard won. Some unexpectedly fall in our lap. Lessons and opportunities are also what we choose to make of our time, talents, experiences, resources and commitments. Teachers on our collective journey toward excellence also take many forms. Educators, coaches and mentors can be found in all corners of our lives. From classrooms, ball courts, sports fields, houses of worship and family rooms to offices, boardrooms and within every instance people are gathered together. Life lessons are taught to us by the young and old and can be spiced with social, cultural and economic diversity. Throughout this beautiful and bountiful season I have had the fortune to witness exemplary servant leadership and the pursuit and acquisition of excellence from the vantage point of a football field. Please allow me to share some inspiring observations from my watch post with you. I've recently had the honor of serving with a prideful and outstanding team of Kimball youth football athletes and volunteer coaches. Together with those who know far more about the game and have been most patient and informative with me, we've "run with the bulls". We've unleashed and developed our hungry, focused and fueled future gridiron champions. At all levels of Kimball football, we "bring it all and bring it hard" and play with contagious passion. No matter the sport or gender, our student athletes win, lose and grow together. In the face of adversity, they inspire one another to reach their fullest potential. They work through daunting challenge, pain and frustration for the love of the game and the strength of the team. Desire, tenacity and unwavering commitment are also components of this explosive successful mix. Our athletes and their parents skillfully balance multiple priorities, objectives and deadlines. Some of the low hanging fruit from this season's lessons include conviction, camaraderie, responsibility and motivation. You can be sure it's all about bringing our best attitude and effort, in full charge, to everything we apply our energy and influence. Talent is sure to follow when starting from this position. Some of the more challenging and rewarding strategies and outcomes include modeling the way and creating a shared vision. Our strong values and morals have been tested, been proven solid and have been reinforced. Critical thinking and good judgment have been deployed and we've demonstrated grace under pressure. We are creating our future and building bridges together, something we Minnesotans do very well! On behalf of a supportive and proud community, a loud message of thanks is shouted out to our fall student athletes for your amazing season thus far. We admire your spirit and celebrate you as individuals and teams. We appreciate the life lessons you've taught us. We will apply our knowledge and discipline in the classroom, the office, at home and in our hearts and minds as we become the leaders we all possess within ourselves. We hope and pray for your continued success behind the ball as well as behind your school books. These last months have prompted me to re-examine and more fully embrace the notion of pride. Pride is something that comes from a job, any job, well done. It's within everyone's reach. Pride inspires us, builds character and elevates individual and community development. Pride demands vigilance and investment and warrants respect. In searching for a personal method to internalize this concept I've developed the following: "Personal Responsibilities I Do Everyday" and "People Really Ignited Doing Excellence". Either way, I hope you hear a message that speaks to and moves you as an active stakeholder in our great community. "Share the Pride, Show the Pride, Grow the Pride."