Prior to this season who ever heard of Jeremy Lin, the sensational star of the New York Knicks? The guy seemed to emerge from nowhere, didn’t he? Now he’s headline news, not just on the sports page but on the front page. And even if you’re not a Knicks fan, or a basketball or sports fan for that matter, I’ll bet you’ve paid attention to the stories about Jeremy Lin. Why? We love Cinderella stories and David and Goliath stories, underdogs and unexpected heroes who rise up in triumph. They are more than just good at what they do, they persevere to become remarkable as we talked about last week.
There is another reason we love these underdog come-from-behind stories like Jeremy Lin’s, and that is because they give us hope. They give us hope that we too still have a chance to become remarkable. They encourage us to persevere, to not give up on our dreams and desires. Jeremy Lin’s story and others like his inspire us to keep believing in ourselves, that what could have been still can be.
In my profession I see Jeremy Lins every day. As a business and executive coach I see potential in every client I work with, often far greater than they can imagine about themselves, and it is my job to help them visualize that potential and to encourage, inspire, lead and guide them toward it. My great reward in doing so is in watching them develop and progress, and in seeing the joy on their faces as they grow to become more and more remarkable.
There is greater potential in each and every one of us, often times more than we can imagine. For those of us engaged in the coaching profession it is that unrecognized, untapped potential that drives us to do what we do. Our job is to believe in people.
I’d be willing to bet Jeremy Lin has a coach, and I’m not talking about Mike D’Antoni (head coach of the Knicks). No, I’m talking about someone behind the scenes who has encouraged and inspired him, leading and guiding him toward reaching his great potential. We all need someone like that – a friend, colleague, mentor or coach who believes in us and helps us to believe in ourselves, that what could have been still can be.