Called a loser am a winner– this is my six-word memoir. This memoir is a part of my story of how I arrived here. A volatile childhood, which informed my character today, is what makes me who I am today. I think the reason I picked this as my six-word memoir is because many of the people around me (the leaders) who had the opportunity to raise the bar, expect more or to know me were less than inspirational. Those that called me a loser or who sent this message were educators. Today, I have so much respect for educators and get to work with many throughout the state of Indiana.
The phrase ‘Am a winner’ is about the teachers who took the time to raise expectations and saw me as a winner, even though I had won nothing. They viewed my existence as a win and saw in me what I did not see for myself. The last 3 words capture my intention to not need the approval of others to give me value. Value is bestowed to those that exist.
I share my memoir because it illuminates the responsibility that leaders have.
Consider the following 3 principles below:
Principle #1: Leaders in authority are being watched. Followers place weight on what those in authority say and do. Mostly their actions are what followers pay close attention to because followers want to know that the leader cares, displays credibility and character. As I was sitting in that civics classroom that day in 7thgrade, the leader in authority called me a loser in front of the class. That created shame, embarrassment and left a scar.
Principle #2: Leaders in authority speak words that are multiplicative in impact. The positive comments given from those in authority bring energy and encouragement to the recipients. The negative comments leave scars & often create a script. Studies show that we need to hear 4 positives to every 1 negative in our day to day. We repeat the ‘scripts’ in our minds again and again throughout the day. The 4 positives serve to delete that memory.
Principle #3: Leaders in authority have the opportunity to inspire or demoralize. Each moment in your journey is an opportunity to provide clarity, direction, encouragement and feedback. The opposite is just as true. It could also be a chance to confuse, derail, discourage or push away those that you seek to influence.
What is your six-word memoir? Your six-word memoir tells your story and illustrates your purpose.
I am grateful for this extreme and challenging middle school experience because it allowed me to be grateful for the high school teachers & others that believed, hoped and took time to know me. They invited me to become more than I thought I would ever be.