Lou Holtz says, “In this world, you’re either growing or you’re dying so get in motion and grow.” Life gives you plenty of opportunities to grow…as long as you’re willing to take the steps and to move.
My oldest child is now 15-years old and I have found myself with a new opportunity to grow: teaching him to drive a car. This new opportunity for me has taught me three important lessons in leadership.
First, I have a new opportunity to walk along side my son and teach him a skill.
Leaders are constantly thinking outside of themselves. They serve. I work in the transportation industry and I hold a Commercial Driver’s License myself. I recently had the opportunity to attend an award ceremony for a truck driver that has driven 5 million miles…without an accident. It would take the average driver 125 years to drive that many miles! This professional driver has driven a semi truck for 47 years, through all kinds of weather conditions, and never had a crash. The 69-year old driver credits his long, safe career to his father who taught him the skills to drive when he was young. His father was a great leader.
When you lead, do you lead with a vision that looks 47 years into the future? Are you walking along side someone that you can positively impact…for decades to come?
Second, I find myself in a situation where I’m not the one in control.
I’ll be honest: it’s scary the first time you sit in the passenger seat and the boy that was in diapers yesterday is now controlling your 6,000-pound vehicle at 70 MPH. But if feels great when you watch them get better as a driver. It makes you proud when someone you are leading is growing and getting better at a skill.
Teaching my son to drive is also great for me. Suddenly I’m forced to think about the Rules of the Road. I’m reminded how great the US Interstate Highway System has been designed. I’m able to teach my son about the importance of always looking out for the other guy.
Third, this new opportunity is giving me time with my son.
Today, we compete for time with our children. We compete against school activities, sports, friends, extracurricular activities, and a 5” screen that teenagers carry in their pockets.
When I’m in the passenger seat and my son is driving, he’s not texting, tweeting, or “snap chatting”. He’s focused on the road and he’s also available to have a genuine conversation with me. One of the keys to success in life is to have quality relationships. Yes, I have to give my time to teach him to drive, but what better investment of your time than spending it together with your child and passing along skills that will hopefully be the foundation for several decades of safe driving.
Coach Lou Holtz is right. We have many opportunities to grow as leaders. May I challenge you to grow today. Grow one step closer to the man or woman that you want to be 10 years from now.