Back on July 4, we published our first teaser on The Leaducator Experience™ … our Volume 1. As essentially noted in that first offering… The Experience is not simply a newsletter. Well, it is less of a newsletter; and more of one. It’s sole intent is to serve educators, entrepreneurs and emerging leaders who hold a world embracing vision. It is about offering resources to advance peace, passion and prosperity, locally and globally… at school, work, business and community. It is about offering thoughts and resources that might just make life simpler, better and cooler as educators and leaders. We invite you to have a read of that July 4th First Edition.
‘The Closer’; a title often earned in business circles describing that person who can ‘seal the deal’, drive home an idea, finish the project on time, handle the high-profile situations, or bring the team to the next level. Such a valuable skill set to have but yet, heavy on responsibility and pressure (whether it be self or group-induced).
- Are you that staff person in your professional setting?
- Do you know that individual in your family or professional environment?
- Are you forced into playing this role?
- Do you have a desire to become that person?
A case study for your thoughts…
‘The Closer’ – Roberto Osuna [Pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays; 27 Saves & an Earned Run Average of 2.80 (to date) in the 2017 season]
In an atypical, yet extremely brave move for a professional athlete, Roberto offered the following comments to a reporter in late July…
“I really don’t know how to explain it. I just feel anxious. I feel like I’m lost a little bit right now,”
“This has nothing to do with me being on the field. I feel great out there. It’s just when I’m out of baseball, when I’m not on the field, that I feel just weird and a little bit lost.”
“I wish I knew how to get out of this, but we’re working on it, trying to find ways to see what can make me feel better,” he said. “But, to be honest, I just don’t know.”
(ESPN.com news services, June 24th, 2017)
So…what were your immediate thoughts on reading these comments from a well-paid, highly-touted, professional athlete in such a high stakes role? Thoughts?
- In the competitive world of the professional sporting business, this disclosure will certainly affect his effectiveness on the mound.
- It will definitely impact his marketability as a closer for other teams that may have an interest.
- His teammates will have less faith in his mental toughness during the critical times he is called into action.
- It will undoubtedly impact his intimidation factor for the opponent.
- He will have a short career if he is experiencing such adversity at such an early age.
I am sure these and many other thoughts crossed the minds of Blue Jays fans, other teams, sports reporters, Blue Jays management, as well as casual onlookers to the sport. It is apparent however that he is receiving the necessary supports to deal with his ongoing battle with anxiety.
But what Roberto has done here is simply lay himself out there. A move that, whether intentional or not, was highly sincere and genuine, from a person in need of support.
He has stated that when he is on the mound, he is able to place his anxiety ‘on the shelf’ and he is able to focus on the challenge at hand. Not an uncommon situation for a person who experiences ‘high-functioning’ anxiety and relies on routine to keep things in order. Your staff or group of employees may have an individual who has openly disclosed similar difficulties.
So what can be taken away?
- Roberto has lent his face as a popular and credible face of anxiety.
- We will have to wait and see if his comments will influence his treatment from other parties.
- Life goes on for Roberto and for the millions of others that struggle to keep the anxiety demons at bay, while leading highly productive lives.
- It can hit any one of us at any stage; it may also present itself in many forms.
- We will always have our ‘secret-keepers’ who will keep their cards ‘close to their chests’ regarding their struggles.
- We must minimize the impacts by offering workspaces that allow for wellness activities, reasonable expectations, and the possibility for open dialogue.
- When identified, there must be clear treatment options and access to services such as employee assistance programs and counselling insurance coverage.
- Mental health promotion and stress reduction must be built into educational curricula for students as well as amateur athletes and young professionals.
- It is a highly personal decision to share this information. Individuals should not feel forced into sharing their struggles with the public or their employer to legitimize it however, we need to ensure that private supports exist.
To those leaders (and closers) out there struggling quietly with anxiety, respect yourself for the decision to keep this a private issue for yourself. You have the right to do so. But let’s respect others out there that have decided to go public with their own personal battle as a means of invoking change and finding individual supports for themselves.
I had the pleasure of seeing Roberto in action this summer, not long after his public disclosure, and he did not disappoint.
Thanks Roberto, for contributing to the normalization of anxiety in our lives and that we are all surprisingly mortal.
- For Professionals: The Office Yogi
- For Educators: Resources from the Psychology Foundaion of Canada
- For Anyone: Mental Health Commission of Canada / Mental Health First Aid Canada
CHARACTER DAY is COMING
September 17 is Character Day. Character is an everyday matter and the stuff of leadership indeed and in deed. But there remains a need to celebrate the notion of character and dig deeper on it. Enter. among other things, Character Day. From the site…
Join us and millions around the globe for the fourth annual Character Day on September 13th! There are already over 100,000 groups signed up to participate in this global conversation about the importance of developing and improving character (qualities like empathy, curiosity, grit, humility, bravery, social responsibility, and many more). We provide short engaging films on the science of character (including a new film that will premiere on Character Day!), robust printed Discussion Kits, an online Character (Every) Day resource hub and mobile app, and a Global Q&A featuring amazing leaders and educators talking about the importance of character from all different perspectives.
You can join as a whole company or a department, an entire school district or individual classroom, a library or museum, a family or even an individual. Everyone is invited, and participation is free! It takes 2 mins to sign up and you can join in on the conversation via social media using the hashtag #CultivatingCharacter.
As part of 2 Strategic Management classes and 1 Organizational Behavior class I will be teaching that day, I will be facilitating discussion and dialogue around character, beyond the warm and fuzzy… and towards the strength that is character.
Beyond the classes that day, we are looking at another simple project to engage that morning via video on Facebook Live @Epic Engage… and we invite you to join us that day. Details to follow.
In the meantime, how can you engage deeper. cooler conversations around the importance of character at home, school, work, business and community? We constructively challenge you to join the conversations. With that in mind, here are some resources on character.
- The Science of Character.
- The Virtues Project™
- Ideas on engaging virtues and character in education and community
- 17 free resources engaging character
That’s it for this month. We extend an invitation to sign up to receive The Leaducator Experience™ directly and monthly. Go to the right and see the side bar… and the SIGN UP TODAY.
Thanks for your gracious consideration and thoughtfulness. Virtues indeed. 🙂
CONTRIBUTORS and AUTHORS
Trent Langdon is all about building legacy through character education and social-emotional development. He is a junior high school counselor for nearly 700 adolescents and is dedicated to serving his students, their families, and communities. In addition, Trent works on behalf of his colleagues to build identity, protect professional roles, and to give teachers ‘a voice’; recently elected as Vice-President of the Newfoundland & Labrador Teachers Association (NLTA) for the 2017-2019 term of office. Trent is also a Canadian Certified Counselor with the Canadian Counseling & Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) and serves as a member of the CCPA Ethics Committee (Complaints Division). And last but certainly not least, Trent is a proud contributor to the Epic Engage™ team and co-author of The Leaducator Experience™. Check out Trent’s blog
Barry Lewis Green is all about heroic character leadership and its impact on building cultures of strength, unity, resourcefulness and what he calls joyful excellence. He is ultimately a vocalist, strength coach and educator. His work is about voicing, exploring, identifying, practicing and mastering our strengths and building upon them through practical and powerful unity and resourcefulness. Joe Calloway says, “I had the distinct pleasure of being in an audience in Montreal with Barry Lewis Green on the stage. Quite simply, Barry absolutely captivated us with his talent, his message, and his heart. The feeling of unity that Barry created in the room that day was extraordinary.” Barry’s book Human Being Being Being Human speaks to that. and that is why Barry is The Unity Guy™. EPIC Engage™ is an extension of The Unity Guy™. The Epic work is all about building strong, united and inspired cultures lead by character… at school, work and community; where everyone matters and contributes everyday. Barry is humbly proud to advance this work with Trent and The Leaducator Experience™.
POST SCRIPT RESOURCES
- Leaders Share on Leadership
- The Epic Engage You Tube Channel with resources around character and leadership