Thursday, March 27, 2008

We All Need Someone To Look Up To


Hopefully we can all remember what we wanted to be when we grew up. Kids always pick the coolest jobs- astronaut, police officer, award-winning scientist, superhero... they always set the bar high. Two things that we on swim upstream fear is that we either a) lower the bar of expectations to better suit our reality rather than meet our own expectations, or b)we no longer have an ideal or standard in mind for ourselves.

I consider myself exceptionally lucky. I look up to all 5 of my cohorts here on swimupstream, plus I have 3 mentors other than my parents who are not in this group to draw inspiration from. While they all deserve special mention; one of them is the source of inspiration for today's entry (we'll get there)

Matt Young: is arguably the person who has had the most impact on my life direction in terms of teaching me how to open doors for myself using tools he showed me, and an attitude I have learned to embrace

Curtis Christopherson: Not only sets the bar for himself higher than those around him, he is more consistent than just about anybody. Great talent + great consistency = a guy who is in his mid-twenties who has impacted an entire community and is working on a nation in his own way.

Willie Cromack: Has been a friend when he didn't have to, a source of leadership when there was nothing obvious in it for him, and a leader to others who hoped to be the same. His conviction, drive, and balance are all to be admired.

Scott Boyle: is a guy whose actions spoke louder for him than anyone else could have. Amidst some pretty serious adversity years ago; he took the high road in a business situation where others who talked the talk way louder took the low road. His wisdom, insight, values, and sense of giving back to the community are awesome to behold.

Kris Schjelderup (our newest addition but by no means new to leadership): Kris is passion embodied. For someone who has been doing what they do for 10 years, it is very refreshing to see the passion Kris wakes up with every day. He happily accepts as his mission leading people to the best of his abilities no matter what is going on in his life.

Gentlemen- I don't say it enough- thank you for your impact and influence on me. Now onto a man who leads his life by the same credo- Will Sawyer. Will is my grandfather, and goes in for surgery to remove a cancerous tumor on Monday.

- Will played semi-professional baseball,
- was happily married and hopelessly devoted to the same woman for 56 years until she passed away a few years ago
- worked for the same employer for over 40 years,
- raised 3 kids to the best of his ability
- had people steal from him, take advantage of him, and disrespect him- yet neither myself or my mom (his daughter) have ever seen him angry
- he fought in the war,
- he is a published author
- he swims upstream every day in his attitude, his lifestyle, and his dedication to family.

As I told him- my goal is to be half the man that he is, and I am happy to report as a leader of many people that he is someone I have always looked up to.

To everyone who reads this today- make it your task to acknowledge someone you look up to- and thank you for reading today.

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