by Darrin Schenck

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by Darrin Schenck

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Political affiliations aside, this is downright asinine. At a time when the country and the rest of the world is struggling with the impact of COVID19, and the easy answer to reducing the affects are as simple as:
1. Wash your hands frequently
2. WEAR A MASK, especially in confined spaces with others and/or when in public.
The very idea that the Vice President of the United States walks through a hospital (which is largely a publicity stunt, because what is he contributing to the Mayo Clinic by being there?) is so atrociously offensive to the human race I barely know how to wrap my head around it.
I don’t care what his reason(s) he thought were valid for not wearing a mask were, I wish the Mayo Clinic had refused him entry because of this. Now Mr. Pence is going to go back to the White House and stand in front of Congress, etc. etc., as part of his job duties. He is SURROUNDED by people his age and older, all of whom fall into the higher risk category. Rand Paul did the same thing, and the fall out from that still remains to be seen.
So, where does this lead my blog post for the day? Leading by example (the right way!) seems like a good direction. As a quick side bar, the ASU Racquetball team got me a small gift at the end of last season that I truly treasure. It was just a water bottle, nothing fancy, but the message on it was something I said all the time. “The line starts here.” I said it all the time at practice and as we did workouts together. It was my motto; I did my best to lead by example, even to the tune of leading the workouts by doing them with the team. The other coaches and I set the tone of the group. We are the leaders, and it naturally going to fall on us to create the behavior patterns for the team. Simple things like being on time, upholding your commitments to yourself and to your team mates, etc. Sure, I fell short sometimes, as everyone does. I am human after all; but I did my best to course-correct and change my actions to get a better result. Do I wish I had a few do-overs? Of course, everyone does. Hopefully I learned from those experiences, and the lessons I learned also benefited the rest of the team. I am a better VP of Sales because of my time as a coach.
Coaching has been one of the most influential things I have ever done. Without a doubt, it has been the most personally rewarding endeavor I have undertaken. It has made me a better man. It has forced me to raise my own game, my own standards, and how I interact with others. I had to learn to lead by example, as I was guilty of doing the opposite as a player and a younger version of myself. I slowly began to understand how much others were impacted by my behavior, how people reacted to my actions, and treated me accordingly. I learned how the team took on my persona, and how that needed to be treated with reverence. It is an honor and a great responsibility to have people looking up to you, willing to follow you, open to taking your advice and trusting that you their best interest at heart. The more I embraced that role, the better I got at raising my own bar, and pulling others up with me.
This is why I think I am having such a visceral response to what I saw yesterday on the news. To see a man in a position of such prominence doing such a poor job of leading by example was literally offensive to me. I am leading a team of 20 college kids with more intent and feelings of responsibility than the VP of the United States is leading the country with? THAT is a scary thought…
We are experiencing unprecedented times, and what we all are craving is direction and leadership. We as human beings need true leadership to get through times like this. Everyone is looking to others for guidance: their boss, their pastor, the President. Most of us have their own lives somewhat under control in the microcosm that we occupy, but in the grand scheme of things the well being of the country itself is at stake, and lack of leadership is more disconcerting now than ever. I certainly hope that the people “driving the bus” understand this and do a better job moving forward. Lead by example, it is the best way to get everyone moving the same direction and, TOGETHER, overcome the pandemic and financial crisis we are all experiencing.
As always, I wish you luck in your endeavors.

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