executing the Vision
I wasn’t Valedictorian… because of my mouth. I called a teacher Stupid – and let me plead my case… no don’t. I earned an “Unsatisfactory” in conduct, and my father got me out of being suspended, but nonetheless, I was barred from his Senior Honors Class. No worries – I had my pick of colleges, although every one of my family went to Texas Tech – including my Grandfather, who taught there. And again if you read these articles often, you know that was out of the question.
Does your Family help you execute your Vision?
One thing that was clear – I was going to be doing “Work-Study”. Engineering is a highly application-oriented field, so doing it while learning was optimal. It also provided for significant “real world” experience when you finally graduated, and also income to pay for your way through college. Most good engineering schools had this program, but I didn’t want to go to any of the big ones – and settled on SMU, which was in Dallas where I had grown up for the first 12 years of my life. They even gave me a small scholarship, and I assumed we were all set…
During King’s junior year in high school, Morehouse College — an all-male historically black college that King’s father and maternal grandfather had attended — began accepting high school juniors who passed the school’s entrance examination. As World War II was underway many black college students had been enlisted in the war, decreasing the numbers of students at Morehouse College. So, the university aimed to increase their student numbers by allowing high school juniors apply. In 1944, at the age of 15, having skipped the 9th grade, King passed the entrance examination, thus skipping the 12th grade… and was enrolled at the university for the school season that autumn.
Seeing your Vision execute is critical…
In the summer before King started his freshman year at Morehouse, he boarded a train with a group of other Morehouse College students to work in Simsbury, Connecticut. The students worked at the farm to be able to provide for their educational costs at Morehouse College, as the farm had partnered with the college to allot their salaries towards the university’s tuition, housing, and other fees. On weekdays King and the other students worked in the fields, picking tobacco from 7:00 am till at least 5:00 pm, enduring temperatures above 100°F, to earn roughly $4 per day.
This was King’s first trip outside of the segregated south into the integrated north. In a June 1944 letter to his father, King wrote about the differences that struck him between the two parts of the country, “On our way here we saw some things I had never anticipated to see. After we passed Washington there was no discrimination at all. The white people here are very nice. We go to any place we want to and sit anywhere we want to.” On Friday evenings, King and the other students visited downtown Simsbury to get milkshakes and watch movies, and on Saturday’s, they would travel to Hartford, Connecticut to see theater performances and shop and eat in restaurants. On each Sunday they would go to Hartford to attend church services, at a church filled with white congregants.
Family Systems execute your Vision
I stumbled onto the field of Family Systems through my Church. Like many, it has some interesting “quirks” that I was starting to recognize were not the new minister – particularly after 3 or 4 had similar endings. It was US – we were doing this to ourselves. As I progressed into my Coaching Career, I noticed the same thing – many people did not have a Family System that was supportive of their choices in work, life, or most anything. Some were carrying huge burdens that would play out in interesting ways around them, and often in our discussions. I started to realize that others saw “execute” as the opposite of supporteive of their Vision.
…I of course forgot to tell SMU I was coming. I assumed they knew, and I was taking the summer to do some “other things” that I will write about eventually. Suffice to say that my Dad knew that it was unlikely I had actually finished the paperwork (how would he know that?) He had these very corny form letters that had embedded carbon paper (I know most of you have no idea what that is) so you could send a letter and retain a copy. He sent in my “acceptance” of their offer, and I was all set… other than that I missed out on the “counseling” session to get my classes set up for the first semester. What could possibly go wrong?
Vision for execution – what is yours now?
We have all had to dig deep for the last few years to really grab onto new Visions. As many paths were closed for execution, new opportunities have come to the forefront. We are seeing many realize the path they were on needed new horizons, new Visions – seeing things they haven’t seen before. Maybe it is the idea of travel to a different location, like MLK, or throwing yourself into something you may or may not actually be ready to execute. Tomorrow the call will become clearer for MLK – but for today, think about forming a Vision. Maybe another of MLK’s favorite hymns will provide a suggested execution approach. From an amazing Aretha Franklin concert in 1972, How I Got Over