Walking Into the Fire

This past summer I had the opportunity to attend the Global Leadership Summit. I was selected, along with a group of other Hope athletes to attend GLS and it tremendously changed my perspective on leadership and motivation.

The Summit had speakers from around the world come and share their knowledge and different views of leadership and how God plays a part. Hope Athletics presented me with an opportunity to listen to several moving speakers talk and teach about their experiences and lessons learned in our world today. This world around us and the people in it are constantly changing, it almost becomes hard to keep up with. I learned that a big piece in the center of all of that is leadership, and that means us as leaders. Everyone can be a leader, and in some way, shape, or form, we all are. During this time, I realized that I was always looking for someone to inspire me, I was always looking for my motivation to come from somewhere or someone that wasn’t me. But what if I was the reason for someone else’s inspiration? What if I was the reason someone else was motivated to do something? This made me take a step back and see that I could be that person too. I could be that person here at Hope or on my lacrosse team, that showed someone else the way. Everyone has a chance to be that person. It doesn’t have to start tomorrow, it can start today.

The Hope Athletics Global Leadership Summit group spent an evening reflecting on what they learned while taking in a beautiful sunset on Lake Michigan.

I was able to be part of our lacrosse team last year where we made it a priority to celebrate the little wins in our practices or in our games. We didn’t just focus on the big goals at the end of the season, we also focused on the little steps it took to get there.This was something as small as having good communication while we were man down on a penalty card. This little win contributed and brought us a step closer to our bigger goal of winning conference. As a team, leaders stepped up and brought us closer by celebrating these small steps. One of the speakers at The Summit, Craig Groeschel, pointed out that anyone can be a leader, you don’t have to have a title to be one. Many people think that captains on a sports team or managers in a business team are the only leaders, that’s not necessarily true. This was something important for me to realize because it is an idea that I would like to implement and continue on our lacrosse team. You can be a leader to anyone, just like someone can be a leader to you.

One of my favorite speakers was Erwin McManus. He spoke on the idea of becoming the person we were supposed to be and how fear plays into that. He had an incredible story of his own fear and this brought me even closer to my own story. I really connected with the idea of running into the fire. McManus pointed out that our fear is what is controlling us, like how fire controls the damage it causes, and that on the other side of our fears, is freedom. As leaders, we can’t run from the fire, we can’t pull our followers away from the fire, that would show that it is still controlling us, right? Then leaders must run into the fire, because freedom and greatness is what is on the other side. I have made this a daily part of my life since I let this sink in after the conference. I strongly relate to the phrase, “no longer a slave to fear,” and I have since before I even heard McManus speak, but hearing all his lessons and teachings, I got a chance to revisit why I started believing in that in the first place. I don’t want fear to control me, anyone that I follow, or anyone that follows me. I agree with the idea that, as a leader, you can’t lead other people away from the fire, you have to show them and lead them through it.

Leaders create other leaders. This is something that I see at Hope College every day, no matter how small. I am incredibly appreciative to have had this opportunity to hear these amazing stories and have the chance to go out and implement these ideals into my life and the lives of others on this campus and on my team. I intend to keep spreading the great leadership tips that I got in hopes that maybe I can be that inspiration or motivation for someone else to do the same, just like these speakers did for me.

About the writer Laurel Frederickson is a sophomore majoring in public accounting and is a member of our women’s lacrosse team.

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