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Leader of the Month: Ben Colas

Posted on 19 January 2018

What's the worst that can happen? Oftentimes, the answer to that question is "they'll say no." When I actually stop and think about that- worst case is things stay as they are- it gives me boldness to speak up with a new idea, ask someone if I can pick their brain over coffee, or try a new strategy. I had no idea what the response to pitching KinderKits would be, but realized it'd far better to get rejected and know that there's not demand than to be left wondering what could have been.

The time is always right to do what is right. While I attributed this quote to my mother for many years, I believe it actually originated with MLK. Regardless, it's powerful. It can be tempting to think when I'm established in my career I'll start _____ (giving back, donating more, mentoring, volunteering, etc) The fact of the matter is, there is no time like the present to be in the habit of doing the right thing. There is no shortage of need and opportunities to serve right now, and life certainly isn't going to be getting less busy or complicated down the road.  I certainly have room to grow in this area but am thankful for the progress I've seen.

There's 7 billion people in the world. More of a statement than a quote. Nonetheless, so often, I am so focused on my little world and problems. I'm stressed because I'm running late or worrying I won't get everything done that I need to. I'm frustrated because a lesson didn't go as planned or another cold-call attempt was rejected. I have found that reminding myself that the world doesn’t revolve around me and I’m certainly not the only one to experience frustrations and setbacks is helpful. At the same time, I am reminded of Genesis 1:27 and how all people have inherent value. As Tim Keller says, "I can't feel superior to anyone, nor do I have to prove myself to anyone. It's a call to think more or less of myself, but rather to think of myself less."

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.- Winston Churchill. There's a lot out of my control that can be frustrating. This is especially magnified working in education in the public sector. I can't change policies that (while good intentioned) are disastrous. I can't change the out of school situations that many of my scholars face. Plenty of attempts to grow and scale KinderKits have failed. Despite frustrations or setbacks, I can control my attitude and how I respond.

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