Mid Oct, 2012, one of the most influential mentors, teachers, a friend, was laid to rest. It had been known for a few years now that he was sick – and true to form, up until this change of his season in life, he chose to live a life with vibrancy, passion and a love for helping others see their potential and then give them a way to grow.
It is rare to find such a genuine person in life. When you do… I encourage you to embrace what they teach- and pay attention to the things they don’t come right out and say.
This mentor of mine had may clichés and favorite sayings. One in particular was the declarative “This is a pearl of Wisdom”. When he led a sentence with those words- you best pay attention. He always delivered.
His wisdom was not always directly related to the classroom curriculum he taught. In fact, his whole life was a testimony to how some of the best leaders lead.
It started with a genuine care and passion for doing what he loved. He loved music, he loved travel. He loved helping share the impact and meaning music has played in the lives of generations.
His patience, and I do mean extreme patience at times… when we were learning, goofing off, rehearsing, and then doing it all over again- was incredible. The man who always gave you a smile did get mad- but that was rare. If he was mad or upset at you- you deserved it. The majority of the time though, he was always encouraging, teaching, inspiring and pushing you to reach and strive just outside of your comfort zone. He knew we had the capacity to grow.
When I heard the news of his passing, I was amazed at just how much of an influence his style affected my life. As his student, I knew he was one of my best teachers. Through the reflection of him of the time I was his student I realized today that he:
Taught me how to discipline my thoughts
• He taught me the importance of consistency and striving to improve in all I do
• He taught me the importance of patience
• He taught me how to practice to improve with skill sets- and not just practice- but to do so with perfection. Repetition of perfection so that when it was time to perform and share- what you share is so ingrained in you that you can simply give.
He knew that with focus and effort- you could discover your potential. In fact, he would see your potential often way before you did. He would push you to be better. He would encourage you to open your mind to grow. He knew when you were frustrated and he knew how to get you to overcome your own stumbling blocks. He knew when you were not giving your 100% and he would give you a look that would tell you he knew you knew you could do better.
When times arose where you needed a friend- and not just a teacher, he was there for you.
He would lead you with confidence, fun and best of all- he would be right there by your side each step of the way. He lived the life of a living legacy leader.
To him, I say many thanks for all he did to open doors and opportunities for me that were above and beyond what many students get to experience. I tip my hat off to you and say you will forever be the Leader of the Band. 🙂
Your inspiration, wisdom and teaching can be seen in all I do.
May we always continue to “Drum it!”