I had the unique opportunity today to speak to a roomful of over 200 people, most of whom were young males between the ages of 14-17 years old. Most of these guys are athletes. And in a nation obsessed with sports, athletes are often put up on a pedestal or at the very least looked up to as role models. Of course, the only reason I had the privilege to speak with this group is due to my current status as a professional athlete. Sports carries a great platform to share with other people, whether that be with your time (serving) or your tongue (speaking).
I was invited to speak by the Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault (INCASA), who puts on the “Young Men’s Leadership Summit”, an event geared towards guys who they believe can effectively carry the message back to their high schools. They gave me a nearly blank canvas to talk about whatever I felt led to convey to this attentive audience.
Keenly aware of the impact my message might have on some of the young men in the audience, I wanted to be sure I shared my beliefs on what defines a man. There are three things a man does well: 1) He leads well. 2) He loves well. 3) He lives well. One of my all-time favorite quotes is by Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Albert Schweitzer: “Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.” I truly believe that everything ties back to leadership, and leading by example has always resonated with me the most.