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Bettering Others and the World You Live In

Where We Belong

Where We Belong

Knowing where we belong is an important part of leadership.  The perspective puts us in the space and the place we are intended to be. 


For the majority of my adult life, you could find me going from coaching baseball to football to wrestling.  Nonstop, year around.  One season to another. 

I hung up my football coach whistle a few years ago.  I had always wanted Grant to play at a young age to develop discipline and have the opportunity to be a part of a team.  Once he got to middle school, it was his choice to continue to play.  He chose to focus on baseball and wrestling. 

Now that he is in high school, I find myself a spectator watching him in baseball and wrestling.  I still get to help coach his travel baseball team, but outside of that, my coaching days are starting to dwindle. 

This past weekend, Grant decided to compete in the Georgia State Wrestling Championships.  He is in the middle of baseball season and far from wrestling shape.  Grant wanted to challenge himself and experience freestyle wrestling, a different version of wrestling than he is accustomed to.

By rule, his high school coach could not coach him or his teammates at the tournament.  So…I got the opportunity to coach them.  Getting to be on the mats again, in the middle of everything, reminded me where I belong.  I can play the role of a supportive parent in the stands, but my identity is and always will be COACH. 

Everyone has a place to belong in life and leadership.  Here are some observations I had from that experience on the mats: 


As I got our cooler, supplies, and Shannon situated in the bleachers, I made my way out to the mats.  I was leaving the section where support comes from.  The parents, grandparents, and friends were there to support each of the wrestlers competing that day. 

As leaders, we need to belong to a group of supporters.  We need the people that are cheering us on, encouraging us, and inspiring us to do more and be more.  Their presence alone lets us know that we are not in the leadership journey alone.  As much as we may feel the need to project our independence in leadership, we are dependent on having supporters.    

Non-Wrist Banders

If you have ever been to a wrestling tournament, it can be chaotic at times.  Tournament organizers issue coaches special wrist bands to identify them from the rest of the crowd.  In fact, we must complete specialized training to earn the right to wear that wrist band.  It should only be coaches and wrestlers on the floor during the event.  Everyone else belongs in the stands, where they can fulfill their role as supporters. 

Well…that is not always the case.  Much to the organizer’s efforts, people ignore the rules.  While those who disobey the rules have good intentions, they are out of place.  They do not belong there.  Their mere presence blocks the views of the supporters in the stands, creates chaos, and leads to confusion.  They interfere with the organizer’s, the referees’, coaches’, and wrestlers’ ability to do what they need to do. 

In leadership, sometimes people don’t belong.  While their intentions are pure, they wreak havoc on organizations.  Chaos, confusion, and criticism are what they bring to the table.  They distract from the leader’s responsibility to better others, their intended purpose.    

Difference Makers

Coaches are difference makers in this world.  They carry the tremendous burden to positively impact and redirect the lives of young people.  In the midst of the chaos of that gym floor that day, there were shining star examples of coaches investing their time and their talents into young people.  They were being difference makers. 

As a leader, we are simply a coach in the workplace.  We carry the tremendous burdens to positively impact and redirect the lives of those we are entrusted to lead.  In the midst of our days, the chaos, the confusion, the criticism, and the conflict, we are difference makers. 


After an extremely busy week at the office, I had to get up at 5:50 a.m. to get my parents to the airport to catch a flight.  Then, I had to be at Life University by 8:00 a.m. in time for the tournament.  I only had until 2:00 p.m., then I had to drive an hour and fifteen minutes north to Dalton, Georgia to coach baseball. 

When I transitioned from the bleacher steps to the mat, I transitioned to where I truly belonged.   I was re-energized and felt purpose, two things that can easily be drained from you in the grind of leadership. 

The first paragraph of this conclusion has strategic vocabulary.  It included the world HAD and it drastically changed the tone of it. 

The energy and purpose I got from belonging rewrote that paragraph to this.  I GOT the opportunity to take my parents to the airport to experience my mom’s dream vacation (we will see on my dad’s end!).  I was still able to GET to Life University just in time to coach the tournament I was looking forward to all week.  Then, I was able to GET to coach as many matches as I possibly could before I GOT to head to Dalton to coach a game.

Knowing where we belong in life and leadership changes everything.        

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