Memories of Awe Episode 32

Liz was a great admirer of Professor McKown’s ability to enable his students to achieve their talent. She began to wonder whether there were times when his enabling was too pushy. She decided to focus on this in her next interview.

LJ: How do you know when you cross the line and try to enable someone who is just not comfortable with the guidance you are providing?

KMcK:  That’s a great question, and something I am fearful of. I don’t have an answer for you, but I can generally sense when I’m pushing too far.

LJ: Could you share with me a memory of someone who you may have pushed too hard?

KMcK:  Elsie comes to mind. She is a local girl from a big family. She had tremendous talent, but I felt it would be wasted if she stayed in the area. But family ties were very strong.

LJ: What did you do?

KMcK:  When she was a junior, I helped her get an internship with our local hospital. This gave her the experience she needed to use her talent anywhere in the country.

LJ: Then what happened?

KMcK:  When she was in her senior year, I encouraged her to interview for a consulting job in healthcare. This position would give her experience with hospitals across the nation.

I could tell she was reluctant to take the interview but she did. She got the offer but was undecided about accepting it. While she had an offer to stay with the local hospital, the consulting job would play her $20,000 more per year.

LJ: That would be hard to turn down, but I guess her family ties were very strong. Did you push her toward the consulting job?

KMcK:  I did not. In fact I try not to push students toward any job. In this case, her father encouraged her to take the consulting job.

LJ: And now, I can’t wait to hear the rest of the story.

KMcK:  The consulting job gave her tremendous experience, but her family ties kept pulling her back home. She was recruited to return to our local hospital at a senior executive position. It’s unlikely that she would have had the experience to fill that position if she hadn’t obtained the broader experience with the consulting job.

LJ: If I could sum up what I’m hearing, you enable possibilities, but you don’t push students in directions they don’t feel comfortable with.

KMcK:  That’s a good summary. Stories of past students are very helpful in helping current students make the best choice for them.

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“All growth starts at the end of your comfort zone.” – Tony Robbins (motivational speaker)

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