Childhood Experience Reveal Passion and Purpose
My name is Marvin Chambers. I am an Executive Coach, Ally, and Trusted Advisor to leaders. I believe in building relationships based on trust. This bond of trust will allow leaders to fulfill their promise and maximize their contributions to the planet.
I grew up on the east side of Baltimore, Maryland. Sports were huge in my neighborhood and because of my talent, I had the respect of my peers. As good as I was (a playground legend of sorts), I was not always confident and there were times when the lack of confidence was on full display. Fortunately, my father and uncle were valuable mentors and coaches. They had very different approaches (father more encouraging and supporting and taught lessons through stories; uncle more direct and clear and drove excellence through high standards and practice and repetition). Both men stood ready to push me through the most difficult times.
One moment stands out. As I reflect back on it, it was one of those breakthrough moments. My dad and uncle coached my little league baseball team. My baseball team was in an important playoff game. The strategy for the game called for me to play shortstop. It wasn’t my normal position. While I could play there, it was not my comfort zone.
Well, here we are late in the game, up 11-8 and just two outs way from the championship. Then the world unravels. The ball is hit to me six times in a row and I commit six errors. I want out. My eyes begin to water and tears begin to roll down my face. I look at my coaches and my uncle shouts, “I’m not moving you; we are going to win or lose with you at shortstop.” I finally manage to catch a fly ball to end the inning and we are now tied 11-11 going to the bottom half of the inning.
As we leave the field, the center fielder gives me an encouraging pat on the back and told me let it go. As fate would have it, I’m first to bat. My father, as third base coach, yells an encouraging, “You can do this… Be aggressive… Be a hitter.” Fortunately, I connected with the first pitch and hit in long and hard. My speed carried me quickly around the bases. As I rounded third, I pull up and instead of heading home, I pause to go back to the base to play it safe.
That’s when I hear my dad saying, “Go home.”
I pivot and head home beating the throw.
We win the game.
There are some valuable lessons that I learned from that little experience as a thirteen year old kid:
Embrace the Uncomfortable
To get where you want to be, sometimes you are going to have to play out of position and do things you are not comfortable with… And when the pressure is on, you are going to want to run away and seek what’s comfortable. But, complete players have to leverage their strengths and learn to do the things that are not as natural. Growth comes from change and doing new things.
Winners Seek Accountability
Each of us needs people around us that we can trust and respect and that can hold us accountable to our commitments, behavior, and responsibilities as leaders and stewards of others – even when we don’t want to do what we are called to do. They must care enough to find a way to help us receive messages we may not really want to here.
Help Often Comes From Peculiar Places
When trials come upon us, we need to keep going – even when it looks insurmountable. We need to trust the process and keep the faith for the resources and support we need will come at the right time – often from unexpected places. Remember, the center fielder that encouraged me when I was done. He was my arch rival in middle school (Reminder me to tell you a few stories about the intensity of the rivalry when we connect). He was the last person I expected to give me the uplift that I needed.
When we have Breakthroughs — and we certainly will have them, it is important to take full advantage of the opportunity. Do not play it safe. We must maximize our gifts and talent and reap the rewards of a work and preparation.
As your coach and ally, together we will develop a winning growth and leadership development game plan. This supportive relationship will provide the framework, tools, and accountability allowing you to move through your game plan in spite of all the doubts, concerns, obstacles and frustrations.
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”
– Hellen Keller