Tuesday, August 12, 2014

To Issa: On Leadership

Sweet girl, every once in a while in my life as mother, what is in my heart actually manages to come out of my mouth. For a brief shining moment, I feel like I was given the perfect words in a perfect moment to impart a tiny piece of wisdom you truly hear. Last night, we had one of those moments. You had finished your first night of boot camp, and in a quiet moment in the kitchen you and I could talk about leadership. Just in case you forget someday, I wanted to capture it here.

To my leader...

This year, you are the oldest veteran in the Tinys. Tonight, I watched the other Tinys look to you. Your teacher asked you to come to the front to help lead stretches, and I watched you quietly shepherd your team to the next class. Baby, that's called leadership.

There are two kinds of leaders. Some leaders stand in front and shout and boss. They have a commanding presence for a while, but eventually they will find themselves shouting to an empty room.

The other kind of leader, the one I pray you are becoming, is the quite leader. They don't shout or boss. More often, they work a little harder than everyone else. They ask questions. They coach when people ask--either with words or by coming close. They do the right thing. Sometimes, it can be lonely. But here's the thing, people find those leaders. And soon they are doing the right thing, too. They follow because they want to be part of what they see.

Baby, that's what I want you to do this year. You just do the right thing. You encourage your teammates. You work hard and stay focused on your goals. You are a leader; the other girls look to you. I saw it tonight, and I can see in your eyes it's a little bit scary, and I won't lie, it's often really hard. But guess what, I'll be right there beside you, and your team will be right there beside you, too. Just keep doing the next right thing...at the studio and in your life.

I was so proud of you tonight--so proud--and I always will be.

Love you forever and always,

Your Mama

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