Team Thursday: Inspiring Those Around You

So far I have had a great summer and have been lucky enough to go out wakeboarding with friends I don’t get to see all year. One day out on the water I learned an important lesson.

I will be the first to say I am not great at wakeboarding. I can do some basics and not much more. My friend who owns the boat, on the other hand, has some skills. Anyway, I was feeling especially brave this day and I decided I was going to do something new, something big: A back flip.

I got psyched, pulled myself into the wake with conviction and leaned back. It didn’t end well, sorry, no storybook ending here. I didn’t get hurt which is awesome, but instead of a flip the result was an awkward twirling helicopter-like crash landing.

So here is the good part, my friend with the boat and the skills had actually never tried doing a back flip before. Basically, it came down to fear and a while back, he had shelved the idea. Today though, he saw me in give it a try, a failed attempt even, and decided he needed to buck up and try it too.

He too went big after the backflip and was [this] close to landing it. I was so proud and so were the rest of our friends. I have no doubt he will be a back flipping machine before summer is over.

The lesson I took from this was that you never know how your actions, even ones that end in what you perceive as failure, can positively impact another person. In business you may put it out there on the line and try something new, you may fail. But you know what? Your team is watching you and they will pick up on your fearless mindset.

You may inspire them to reach heights they were always capable of, but just never got the courage to strive for. An inspired, fearless team is a winning team. Leading someone on your team past their fear and toward their full potential is one of the most rewarding things I can imagine.