There is a lie going around that if you want to succeed in life, you need to take care of you, because no one else will; that there is such a thing as a "self-made individual". The “ME Generation" is a label given to the Baby Boomers of the 1970's, and "Generation ME" is a label thrown around referring to those who grew up in the last 20-30 years. We have so much, but on a personal level we are one of the least satisfied and least happy generations in American history. Why? The undeniable truth is, while a person exists and is conscious on an individual level, the world we live in is made up of people. We have been made to live together, in community. We accomplish more when we do things as a group rather than alone.
We were hosted and addressed by one of those people whose success is built on the successes of those who are in his charge: Roger Rawlins, DSW's CEO. The leader of a company often sets the tone and creates a culture of success by acknowledging how the achievement of those on even the lowest end of the payroll contributes to the success on each ascending level; all the way to the top.
In the Handshake context, "people" doesn't just mean "more than one human". It means a group linked to a common purpose. It encompasses the Wooden Pyramid Blocks of Friendship, Loyalty, Cooperation, and Team Spirit. A person who is successful in these arenas breeds success and achievement in the people around them, and enjoys it!
We brought these concepts to light in a couple of ways. The panel of Handshake America coaches, alumni, and current students that took the stage shared the positive impact that a single individual had on their lives. Through this we were all challenged to think of someone who had impacted our lives for the better. Then we were challenged on another level to think of someone who may have been, or is being bettered by our efforts and our encouragement.
That is why this session was called "People", and not "Person". We emphasized the reality that while this program is focused on developing the character of the individual on and off the field, there is no success to be had - or enjoyed - without others being involved. Recognizing and embracing this reality is the key. It is one thing to see and know the face of success; the champions, the presidents, the CEO's, and the heroes. It is another to be a part of it on a less visible level; a building block of the foundation for that success.
You want to know success in this life? Enjoy the successes of others and let others enjoy yours.