Hats Off to Shawn

Yesterday while I was coaching a group of leaders, a man named Shawn shared part of his inspiring story.

The group was working on a team-building activity that seemed impossible to get done in the time frame that would net them the most points.

Shawn spoke up. “This is doable,” he began.  The team wasn’t convinced so he continued. “Until 2009, I only had an eighth-grade education. I’ve learned that if there is something I want, I put my mind to it and focus on on it, I can reach my goals.”

Shawn received his GED two years ago and is continuing to grow in his career, having recently been promoted to a supervisory level. He has his sights set on a position within his company that he would like to achieve.

During a break, I talked to him more about his journey to overcome his difficult circumstances. He said, “There’s so much to the story, so many things I’ve overcome that I didn’t share.  I’m not finished yet with what I want to do. Next I want to get my college degree.”

Shawn didn’t start out his career with many of the credentials, tools and abilities that most of us have. He does have spirit, heart, courage and focus and a passionate willingness to learn. And he also asks a lot of questions and is lucky to have mentors to support him.

Shawn believes that what he wants to achieve is doable.

The next time you are faced with a challenge that doesn’t seem like it can be solved according to your parameters and what you think is possible, I encourage you to think of Shawn and remind yourself that it is doable.

Then your job is to ask yourself, “How is this doable?” Be prepared for creative solutions to emerge and forge ahead knowing that a good solution is possible.

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