“You are the young men and leaders of Saint David’s,” he noted. Tom debunked the perception that leaders are born not made, and credited his leadership abilities to “standing up to and facing fears” and to “cultivating a mental strength,” which he cited as “more important than being physically strong.”
He also stressed the importance of working hard, honoring teamwork, believing in oneself and being a good listener in order to learn from those who know more than you. Relating this to our boys, he likened their teachers to great coaches and urged the boys to “treat each assignment as a game: plan, strategize, and execute.”
During the Q&A session, eighth graders asked Tom thoughtful questions about his career and goals, how he dealt with setbacks, and his work with the charity Best Buddies. I was proud of the depth of boys’ questions, and the assured manner with which they delivered them.
It was such a fun and insightful event that reminded me of the potent ways in which sports is a metaphor for all of our lives…in the goal setting and practicing, the winning, the losing, the overcoming of challenges, and most of all in our doing our very best in whatever 'game' we play.