Making the Grade

Recently my daughter changed her college major which required her to weave a new path through her requirements. Ultimately it ended up with her having to take a class this summer in a subject that is not her strength. With the accelerated schedule we knew it would be quite a struggle. Worse, this class was a pre-requisite for the classes in her fall schedule.

It was very hard from the beginning. Let’s call it what was, a struggle. It often took her 3 times as long to complete the homework as it did others. But she did it. She visited the professor multiple times a week to get extra help. Try as she might, she was barely keeping up with the class.

She told her job she would not be able to work until she got through this class. Then she signed up for a tutor 2 or 3 times a week for extra help. There was an extra credit assignment, but she couldn’t even consider it – the daily work took all the time she had.

Then came the final exam. She conferred with the instructor. She spent time with her tutor. She worked, worked, worked. Late the night before the final, she took the practice exam… and scored a 27!

Her spirit was broken. She called crying. As parents do, we told her we were proud of her for working so hard. And we told her just to get some rest and do her best in the morning.

If this were a movie, she would have scored a 100 on the final amidst the celebration of her classmates. But this isn’t a movie. We did get an excited text the following day telling us she passed the test and the class. She didn’t know how it was possible. But she did it.

I’m glad she passed the class. More important to me, she practiced the fortitude we as leaders try to inspire in our teams. She demonstrated the resilience we hope our teams will have when the tough times happen. She showed commitment and continued effort we trust will become our hallmarks.

Great job, honey. You made the grade with me. You inspire me.

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