Last night I had the honor of witnessing my partner in life, my wife Ashley, do something really special. Ashley completed the Concordia MBA program and capped off two years of hard work with an unbelievable Capstone presentation. I can’t even express how proud I am of Ashley. Her team did an amazing job with their presentation and with the entire Capstone project.
Ashley’s team of five worked as consultants with Austin start-up, Student Loan Benefits. I was intrigued with this project from the beginning because of the consulting type work we do at SOS Leadership. The group worked with SLB for five months. They met with the founders of the company, they did research, and they brainstormed sales and marketing ideas. They spent some 215 hours putting together a growth and sustainability plan for SLB and last night they presented their findings and recommendations.
I was so impressed with their work that I wanted to bring the whole team to work with me at SOS Leadership. But more than anything I was super impressed with my wife, Ashley. I have always known she was awesome, but it was incredible to witness her shine in front of a bunch of other people. It was great hearing the amazing things other people had to say about her.
There are few greater leadership roles than that of a spouse. Since Ashley and I first met (four years ago yesterday!), I have felt like she has been my number one fan and supporter. Within a few months of dating she had already seen me speak. Over the past few years she has come to speaking events, she has worked my table, she has helped facilitate groups for SOS Leadership, and she has even written numerous blog posts (see them here!). It is clear for everyone to see how much Ashley supports me. I often feel these words from the song Wind Beneath My Wings describe Ashley: “You were content to let me shine, that’s your way. You always walked a step behind. So I was the one with all the glory, while you were the one with all the strength.”
Last night I was able to support Ashley and let her have the glory for a change and she did not disappoint. Sometimes the most important thing a leader must do is be supportive. Ashley has done that better than anyone and I hope I was able to do it well last night and that I can continue that from here on out. I hope that you will reflect on how you support the special people in your life after reading this post. Supportive leadership is unconditional love for the person. It is being there for them no matter what. It is accepting being in their shadow from time to time.
And finally to Ashley, who is the love of my life, I want her to know that: It might have appeared to go unnoticed, but I’ve got it all here in my heart. I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it. I would be nothing without you. Did you ever know that you’re my hero? You’re everything I wish I could be. I could fly higher than an eagle, cause you are the wind beneath my wings. Thanks for flying with me. Our flight will never end.