Brett Elder and his Worthington Christian teammates had just won the Ohio Division III, soccer championship by defeating Gates Mills Hawken 2-0, but the Warriors had somewhere else to be.
After accepting the championship trophy on the field at Crew Stadium and showing it to the team’s cheering fans, Elder took off running.
Up he went, over the railing and up the 53 stairs to the suite level. For Elder and a handful of teammates, the destination was a wheelchair-bound man clad in a red jacket: Worthington Christian Principal Tom Anglea, who is battling stage IV brain cancer.
Elder embraced Anglea, who he later said has been a major influence on him, and handed him the trophy.
“I was just saying, ‘We love you; we’ve been praying for you,” Elder said. “He’s been a great mentor for me all four years of my high-school career. It’s been really upsetting for me to see him in that state.”
Anglea got the diagnosis in March, and he underwent brain surgery in October. Players had not known whether Anglea would be able to attend the game until shortly before the start when the coaches pointed out his seat. The title match was the first game he had been able to attend all season.
“Unbelievable,” Anglea said afterward as he rode the elevator to the ground level.
We can learn a great deal from this story that may help in business and in life:
1. Don’t forget to say thanks.
2. The importance of being a mentor.
3. The importance of having a mentor.
4. Everything happens for a reason.
5. The power of hope and faith.
Simply put, the future will be brighter when we unleash the hidden potential within us. Thank you Tom Anglea for teaching us so much during your life!
Thanks to Adam Jardy of THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH for supplying some of the content for this post.
Kurt Sima is VP/Sr. Consultant at The Center for Sales Strategy that enjoys helping organizations with leadership development and solve complex business problems by creating business models designed to achieve growth strategies.
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