Story 18

Leading Yourself

“If you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.”

-Bill George
Illustration by Vince “Pixar” Palko at AdToons

The hardest person you will ever lead is yourself. I glazed over those words as I sat in my final MBA class on leadership development. The assignment was defining what your leadership legacy will be. I had no idea…I did know that I was a young, hard charging worker bee checking off the boxes for the next promotion. I was in control, and all I needed was myself, continued determination, and hard work. The rest will take care of itself. 

That mentality can be a silent killer causing us to drift…and drift I have done for many years. Drift does not mean unsuccessful, lazy, not dependable, unfaithful, etc. To me it means unintentional. Am I being intentional with my time, talent, and treasures? Am I committed to be the best I can be each day? 

On May 13, 2017 I showed up in a parking lot with approximately 40 other men for the kickoff of F3 Toledo. What I thought would be just a good workout (and it was a serious beatdown) turned out to be so much more. 

For years, I have spent so much time and energy striving for success. In tough times, my natural tendency is to retreat with the thought that I can pull myself through it and overcome. It is a dangerous, slippery slope that causes times of high anxiety while feeling like I am “carrying the weight of the world” on my shoulders. I lose focus on relationships and leaning on people for help. I internalize everything. 

F3 has helped me see things a bit differently. It has challenged me physically beyond what I thought I was capable of, but more importantly, it has challenged me to see the interconnection and power of relationships in so many other aspects of life. I am not alone in this journey and share in the many challenges we face as men in the multiple roles we play. Each day I have the privilege to start my day with a group of men that will push me physically, mentally, and spiritually to be the best version of myself. I battle with myself every day…trying to walk the tightrope of life. I am a work in progress and perfectly imperfect. 

As a father of four, I hope my kids remember it all, but if there is just one memory I could etch into their hearts, it would be this. I want them to remember a man who was steady at the helm. Someone who gave them his best every day because not only are they entitled to that, but more importantly, they deserve it. A memory of a man like that just might come in handy someday, and I’m grateful for the F3 brothers that are pushing me to get there. 

So now it’s time to finish the assignment I started six years ago… What do I want my leadership legacy to be? There are many pages to still be written…

Matt “Ollie” Britt

Check out other #Miracle stories.

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