FD, Larry, Love, tough and tender…

I love my new apprentice, FD. Yesterday, I hit him so hard with tough truth regarding his performance that I could feel my nerves tingling as if someone was inside my spinal column playing them like a guitar. I didn’t want to hit him. I didn’t want to be “that guy.” I didn’t want to discourage, deflate, or defeat. I wanted to build and sometimes building hurts acutely. I did my job. I coached him up…

I love his passion for the work, I love his belief, I love him as if he were my son, and yesterday I loved him enough to make sure he never forgets his epic fail. You see, it’s a high bar being my apprentice. I’ve never had one before and Larry Allen left big shoes to fill as a builder of a builder. Larry would have loved how clear, concise, and direct I’ve become. Larry would have loved seeing the belief in my eyes and the burden on my heart. Larry gave me so much courage and his memory still does. You see, FD’s job is to learn. My job is to teach. He is going to be great, someday.

And, as he watched me yesterday deflect a compliment from me to the “athlete”, someday he’s going to introduce me to an old client of his and they too are going to tell me what a great job I must have done building Ole FD back in the day. I’m going to smile, look FD in the eyes, and tell my client a tender truth – “I’m only the coach, my friend, FD was one hell of an athlete.” Remember, leader, your job is to teach, teach, teach. Your teammates have to do the real, hard, work of applying what they learn. We’re just the coaches. The credit goes to the athletes. Love the work. Love the team. Tough and tender.


2 thoughts on “FD, Larry, Love, tough and tender…

  1. Complete belief in and love for you were at Larry’s core, Chet. You gave him the same. Powerful results endure. I’m sure he’s cheering you on, big time! Thank you for this. FD, I look forward to meeting you next time.

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