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"No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude."

- Alfred North Whitehead

In my morning messages (and even in my speeches), I usually talk about individuals who have achieved greatness. Usually, they’ve had this large, super grand challenge that scared them half to death and were forced to dig deep inside to find their faith and inner strength to succeed.

I’ve told stories of Florence Chadwick, Mohammed Ali, and Jesus, to name a few. One group I have not really spoken about is the team behind all of these successful and well-known figures. They really were an integral part of their success. In fact, without them, the aforementioned champions probably wouldn’t have been known or mentioned. They definitely would not have been household names. Ali had Angelo Dundee and The Fifth Street Gym. Jesus had His 12 disciples and sisters. Every Hall-of-Famer has a coach who pushed them and teammates who helped them.

What unites these people is their shared vision. It is an amazingly beautiful thing when individuals have a shared vision. It’s what unites them as a team. It can be to win a game, create a healthy, happy family, or to win an Olympic gold medal. Whatever the case may be, when unity is present there is strength and power in numbers. 

Last night I was witness to the awesome power of a team. Under the leadership of stellar professor Jenn Branco, a group of Sport and Event Marketing students at George Brown College held a benefit concert for the Ahead of the Game Youth Mentoring Program. They brought people together, had live music, gave out prizes/giveaways, and most importantly had fun!

As I smiled to myself through the screams of excitement and the upbeat vibes of the local band, I realized something very special: the AOTG program is in 8-12 schools per week and we see hundreds of students during that time. These groups of students who put on this fundraising event have never met a student who is part of the program, and have never set foot in the classes we run the programs in. They will probably never facilitate or mentor the students we deal with every day, but they are able to touch their lives and be part of our cause because of their efforts that night and all of the hours they put in prior. They will positively impact the lives of many because they share the vision of Ahead of the Game and youth empowerment, making their work just as important as mine.

So a special thanks and shoutout to Jenn Branco, who mentored and mobilized the students. Jorge Henrique Nardy, Julia Pizzimenti, Minnie Kim, Alex Hallink, Alicia Helmond, Stephanie Timajo, Lea Torchetti, Karan Lachman, and the rest of the crew: Chantelle, Ryan, Franco, Shakira, Lindsey, Tut, Tammy Oram from the Data Group of Companies who donated the photo backdrop (if that is what it is called) for their continuous support.

Sponsors included: Toro Aluminum, Pommies Cider Co, Aird & Berlis LLPHallink RSB Inc., and Mark Giordano "C" from the Calgary Flames. 

We planted this seed 5 years ago and it has grown into a huge forest bearing many fruits. That hasn't happened because of the efforts of one, but because of the dedication of a team to a shared vision. Thank you for buying into this vision and listening weekly. Thank you to all who support the cause.

Today, I encourage you to reflect on who you are impacting. Think about the visions you’ve bought into and currently support. What teams are you a part of? You can be a mother, driving hours across the country to watch her son play pro football or a teacher who spends hours thinking of new ways to enhance students' learning. We are all part of some team. We are all part of some vision. Never take your role for granted. Your contributions to that team make you a significant part of its success.



- JH


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