“We Control Our Own Destiny”-Jameis Winston
Recently my alma mater, Florida State University, won the BCS National Championship at the Rosebowl in Pasadena, CA. I am so happy for my team and especially for their quarterback Jameis Winston, the 2013 Heisman Trophy award winner. I can connect with him as an inspirational leader because of how he described the way he spoke to his team in the last minutes of the game. He recognizes the importance of casting vision to his team.
In my job as a store manager, I am addicted to pumping up my team. I dedicate time to remind them how much they control their own outcome based on the work they put in. Like Jameis, I have learned that the first step in accomplishing any goal is to thoroughly live and breathe it. If you do not believe in the vision, why would anyone else? It’s important to believe so deeply in your dream that you could not even fathom any other outcome. This has helped me lead many bottom-performing stores to become top-performing stores. I’ve also had success in developing disengaged problem-employees into top-talent leaders.
Tying this all back to my time at Florida State, my deep belief in myself actually had a lot to do with why I was accepted to the school in the first place. I was in my senior year of high school and barely had a 3.0, I was taking my SAT for the third time trying to score higher than a 700, and I had recently been kicked out of my grandmother’s house for underage drinking. All of this was happening while I was supposed to be applying for college. I was denied acceptance the first time I applied, but I refused to take “no” for an answer. I rounded up reference letters from my English teacher who I had known since I was in kindergarten, my neighbor Rick who had become a temporary guardian in my life, and my boss at the restaurant I worked at after school. I then wrote a letter, “To Whom it May Concern” addressed to the admission office and pleaded for them to take another look at my application. Although I did not have the money, the grades, or the test scores, I believed that I deserved a chance to study at Florida State. As a result, I proved to the admissions office that I had passion and dedication and that I deserved to be given the opportunity to study at their campus. In 2008, I graduated and walked across the stage to accept my diploma from Florida State and could not be happier to be a part of the alumni to this amazing university.
Remember to never stop believing in your dreams. You are capable of accomplishing what you deserve and what you set your mind to do. Jameis Winton said it best while under the pressure of being down by a touchdown in the last 1:19 of the game, “We control our own destiny”, and with 0:31 seconds left to play, he threw a 2-yard touchdown pass that won the game.