The Champion Maker

by | Aug 15, 2016 | Development | 0 comments

Muhammad Ali.

One of the most recognized, revered (and often despised) figures of our time. Few have ever matched what he did in the ring. No one has ever matched his persona, his ability to capture and inspire. It’s hard to question his self-proclaimed status as the Greatest of All Time. He is the Champion. Everyone knows him.

Joe Martin.

The name (with apologies to all the Joe Martins out there) is common, evokes no response and stirs no memories. No one has ever heard of him.

But without Joe Martin there may never have been Muhammad Ali—as we know him. Joe Martin was a police officer in Lousville, Kentucky, responding to a complaint from a 12-year old black kid upset over his bike being stolen. He was looking for retribution: “I want to whup whoever took it.”

We don’t know what officer Martin thought about the scrappy kid. But Joe (who coached boxing on the side at a local gym) responded like a Champion Maker. “Well, you better learn how to box first.” Instead of trying to correct or suppress him, he channelled him—and released greatness.

Six weeks later the young kid fought in and won his first fight. The thief was never found, the stolen bike was never recovered. But a Champion was born.

And Your Point Is…?

Champion Makers see greatness in others, often when no one else can—including the Champion-to-be.

So What?

How many more Champions would there be if there were more Champion Makers? How many potential Champions are never developed because those in a position to make them Champions choose instead to stifle, control, demotivate or shackle.

Champions are often outlandish, outspoken; rash and brash. They often do things others don’t—or won’t. They push boundaries, and sometimes they push our buttons.

Champions have a gift. Unnurtered, it can be destructive. Properly steered and coached it can change the world.

Champion Makers see greatness in others, often when no one else can—including the Champion-to-be.

The Big Picture

Who are the Champions-to-be around you? Your children? Your co-workers? The person you supervise who sees work differently and gets frustrated at doing things the way they’ve always been done? The neighborhood kid who’s always at the center of controversy because he’s bored out of his mind? The student who won’t conform or paint by the numbers?

Envision what they can be instead of what they are. Believe in them—and help them believe in themselves. Give them a purpose. Challenge them to pursue greatness.

Make a Champion.

How many more Champions would there be if there were more Champion Makers?

 

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