Several years ago, I sat with a bunch of young couples in their 30’s who all worked for the Y during their high school and college years. They laughed and I cringed as they reflected on all their hi-jinx and games. A few of them met at the Y and are now married. It seems we are some kind of dating service!
Eventually the conversation turned to gratitude. Several of them shared how important the Y was to their personal development. It gave them confidence. It taught them discipline and built character.
Last week I got a text from a past staff person who was walking his daughter into her first day of Y camp in Charlotte. He shared, “I think I am more excited than she is. We have been singing camp songs for weeks.”
Recently I started putting family pictures of several of the past staff, that have been part of our Y family through the years, up in my office. Several were long time employees and then there are the staff that only stayed a few years.
I put the pictures on the back of my door, so I see them constantly. It serves as a reminder that my opportunity and privilege to lead people has the potential to impact and influence long past the time at the Y. I am not sure that when we hire a part time employee, we think about how that will shape their leadership 20 years in the future. I have said for years that EMPLOYMENT is our number one teen program.
Seeing the pictures reminds me on how much I have been blessed. Blessed to have worked beside some courageous leaders. Blessed to watch people grow into great husbands, wives, fathers or mothers. Blessed to have such wonderful memories of lives changed and people impacted – mainly my life!
One past staff person, even though he hasn’t worked for me for more than 20 years, always text me on Boss’s Day! A clear reminder that we will always be Y Family. (His daughter now works for us as a GWU Student).
Leadership is an incredible privilege, gift and opportunity. And most importantly, leadership is a blessing. #Blessed
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful and committed citizens can change the world. Do you know why? It is the only thing that ever has.”