In my teenage years, I had a hot temper. I was quick with words and my fists. However, over time life experiences ingrained the practice of bringing calm to chaos, clarity to uncertainty, encouraging rather than discouraging, and confidence where there is doubt.
Working with a team energises me. Helping people and organisations challenge, inspires and motivates me. People I respect have offered the same advice independently of each other: "Why don't you consult with multiple clients and share what you have learned about organisational leadership? "
I had dismissed the suggestions. Why? Sport has been a lifelong passion ever since I was a little boy growing up in Belmont. Like all children, regardless of if mummy had money or not, the focus wasn't so much on what we lacked and didn't have but all that mattered was play and fun.
While the teacher's reports indicating that Brian is too playful and needs to settle down would result in the ritual "cut tail" and banned from playing, the sting of the lash was soon forgotten. Playing and fun were always a safe zone, be the play imaginary or real.
Play and fun never get old. Every single human being loves to play, laugh and have fun.
So for me, sport and anything involving sport, has always resonated with me as fun and joy.
As a result sport volunteerism is something I have always done. I developed a habit of bravery. I don't recall ever backing down from a challenge on or off the field of play. There are sports that I have tried that the best I could have done was mediocre at best but those perceived failures weren't devoid of enjoyment. I enjoyed learning from failures. It helps me develop resilience and fortitude.
The suggestion that I should share my knowledge, expertise, and philosophy as a consultant didn't resonate with me from the get-go but the contemporary reality is that sport is a serious and significant industry.
Sport in the 21st century has moved past its earliest history - it is no longer a pastime for aristocrats and the rich. Volunteerism is only but one element of contemporary sport just as the commercial aspect of sport is an important element. It's no longer either, or.
Life is a series of risks. I always encourage people to go brave. I have four decades of experience in sales, marketing, branding, strategy, management and leadership.
The best leaders learn to think clearly and quickly and determine which risks are worth taking. The biggest hurdle to developing a habit of bravery is fear.
Every leader faces difficulties, obstacles and challenges. Leaders are after all human beings. That they are in leadership positions doesn't change that reality. The difference maker in getting unstuck is bravery.
Since handing over the baton of leadership of the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) and T&T Commonwealth Games Association (TTCGA) and Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC), I have had a number of opportunities to consult and to give advice that I have turned down because I didn't want to appear to be undermining my successors.
Bravery is the ability to do something that frightens you.
Bravery is not the absence of fear but rather the commitment to face fear head-on and eventually overcome it.
Bravery is what gives you the confidence to conquer your innermost fears and anxieties and to resist running away from the things that make you afraid.
Bravery is a lifelong habit that if you want to achieve excellence in anything you must pursue.
Fortune it is said favours the brave. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. As a leader embracing uncertainty is part of your job description.
"Education is your passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today." – El-Hajj Malik El- Shabazz (Malcolm X)
Education is not limited to the classroom. Education is your ability to use what you have learned to be better today than you were yesterday.