I recently had the privilege of teaching undergraduate scholarship students at USC in one of my flagship coaching courses known as “Mastering The Competitive Edge”.
Through generous donations made by the Latino Alumni Association (LAA) of USC, many of these young Latinos have been given the opportunity to become the first generation in their families to attend University and become true leaders in their communities.
Of the thousands of students I’ve been blessed to facilitate over the years, these scholars touched me with their self-awareness, ambition, humility and desire to make a real difference.
My mission was to prepare them for life beyond academics, fraternity rushing and Trojan rallies. To provide them with life skills and augment their tool kits, so they’d be ready to tackle the workforce by storm. My sense is that if there is to be a demographic to defy the statistics of unemployment and reduce the 1 trillion dollars in outstanding student loans in the US, this would be them!
Close To The Edge…
One of the key principles of leadership that we all need to be reminded of is taking initiative. In the spirit of connecting to our competitive edge, Initiators know what they want and how to recognize opportunities to achieve it. They push themselves into action the moment their mind is made up! Don’t delay – it only takes the smallest crack of self-doubt to create a massive crevice of indecision and malaise.
Initiators know the importance of being willing to make mistakes and keep moving. It’s not that they don’t have fears, they just keep moving! The willingness to risk is always knowing there is another challenge around the corner.
What is the cost of not risking?
There’s a simple adage; wherever you go, there you are! If you don’t want your next year to look and feel the way your life does today, then step up and create an action plan for change.
Here is a reminder of the 4 simple steps to create change:
1. Write down an action step you are committed to and connect with a friend/partner you will be accountable to.
2. Write down every excuse – all the stuff you know you’ll allow to get in the way from taking action when push comes to shove.
3. Find a way to dismiss each excuse by finding a solution to overcome it.
4. Don’t leave yourself any reasons to quit.
Opportunity doesn’t come to the door knocking… you’ve got to go out and knock on doors yourself to make your dreams happen!
This is where my Latino scholars come in. These inspiring souls recognized their own potential and took stock in their assets, talents and resources. We can all follow their example of appreciating our unique gifts or services and tap into those “unreached” clients and customers who crave what we have to offer.
Remember, they can’t find you if you don’t go looking for them…
Knock loudly; you better make sure they can hear you over their celebrations that you finally stepped up!
Opportunity Knocks by Jamie Greene is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.