When the question was posed to write about someone who has greatly influenced my life, the answer came quickly to my mind… and heart. At Team Trek a leader is defined as someone who knows the direction that they want to go and influences the head, hands and heart of others to follow. While I have had many great influences in my life beginning with my parents and sprinkled with many others I’ve been blessed by, the one I would like to share with you today is someone you know.
As I begin my 13th year as an employee of Team Trek, my pride in my job, much to my surprise, continues to grow. It’s not a pride based in the skills I’ve learned, the money I’ve earned, the privileges of the job, but instead based in the humility of how far I’ve come, the person I am becoming. Walking into the home of Gary and Lori Gore as a bright eyed, recent college graduate and new wife, I had no idea that I was walking into a room of two people who would leave a deep, lasting imprint on my life, who would inspire me, challenge me, teach me, and ultimately care for me.
My first several years at Team Trek were marked by extreme growth (read: failure and pain). My shiny new degree and freshly dry-cleaned suit had prepared me for interviews, but life had not prepared me for the job. Fear of failure and appearing incompetent, along with a habit of making excuses quickly, came to the surface as I adjusted to adulthood and my new job. As I sat before Lori and Gary at a scheduled meeting to discuss one such failing, my inclination to quit because of my exposed weakness was met with something different. They laid out before me a new way of growing and facing my mistakes. I was told by them that failure is unavoidable in life. That it is only through owning our failure, making amends, learning from it, and moving on that we can grow and mature, something I needed desperately.
Over and over again through the years, Lori and Gary have spoken wisdom into my life that has shaped me. Their encouragement, guidance, and constructive feedback have come from their hearts and into mine. The Team Trek principle of “People do not care what you know until they know that you care” could not be truer to me as a recipient of this care. While Lori and Gary have given me this priceless gift and taught me in countless ways, they have allowed me into their lives and I have learned that they themselves are not perfect. And what a relief to me, as imperfect as I am! I have learned from them the gifts of imperfection far exceed the pretense of perfection.
As I reflect on my time at Team Trek, I cannot help but think of Proverbs 16:16: “How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get understanding than silver.” I am grateful to know and be led by Lori and Gary, and only hope I can give back a portion of what I have received.
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