"Geo, are you aware of the damage you are doing by behaving the way you are? Your classmates look up to you as a leader, and model your behavior. You find school easy, and excel at sports, so you can afford to not take class seriously. But they cannot. You may be the factor which causes them to fail. The type of leadership you are displaying is disrupting and irresponsible. It is about time you shaped up, took your responsibilities seriously and made a positive impact instead of a negative one." Strong words spoken to a 14 year old from a small town in rural America. Those life changing words were administered to me by Mr Wayne Wallace, my coach and geometry teacher at Burwell High School back in the 60's as he peered straight into my eyes and through to my soul. I was late for practice one day because I had been kept after school for disruptive, noisy behavior. I was stunned, hurt and yet at the same time very surprised -- Mr Wallace thinks I am a leader! He says I am someone others look up to! So after my punishment for missing basketball practice for disrupting Mr Matheson's chemistry class, Something snapped inside of me. i resolved to do things differently. Overnight I made a decision that if someone as smart and successful as Mr Wallace did respect me as a leader, even though I was just the 3rd son of a farming and ranching family from a small Nebraska town, I could make a positive impact.
And I did -- I became the president of our student union, captain of our football team and honorable mention All State. I was a member of Burwell's first ever team to go to State Tournament in Basketball, a Regent's scholar, valedictorian of our class, and the first person to be accepted to attend the United States Air Force Academy from our school. For the past 50 years I have tried to be a Mr Wallace for others who are ready to step up and make some changes. All because someone took me aside and challenged me to make a positive rather than a negative difference.
What about you? What are your God given skills, gifts, dreams and ambitions? There has never been nor will there ever be anyone just like you! What out of the comfort zone steps could you take to further your IMPACT! on perhaps millions of people around the world. The cure for cancer may be in your hands. You may be the person who brings hope to the millions of kids who go to sleep with swollen bellies due to malnutrition. If you would like information on how to make a positive difference in your world, you have some options. Read and put into action the outlined steps in my book, IMPACT! How to Make a Positive Difference. Just lick on the IMPACT! link below to order the book.