BY JEANNINE LA RUE
Alas…the week-long vacation I had waited for. No, I hadn’t planned a trip to the islands or to an exotic place out of the country. My week of rest was going to be done in good old Atlanta, Georgia…mostly in the quiet section of the Metropolitan area…Marietta Square. Of course, some of my relaxation time would be spent with my daughter who has a psychological counseling practice in the Square. But, for the most part… I was determined to be selfish…relishing in eating alone…taking long walks alone…and just sitting alone in front of the beautiful waterfall in the center of the Square. The goal…planning the next chapter of my life.
My daughter (42 yrs old) and I were seated in a popular little dining café waiting for our entrees. We were chatting about our dreams and goals for the future. Both of us…Type A personalities and constantly remaking ourselves…were diving deeply into our conversations about steps we would take moving our professional brands to the next level.
Out of nowhere…a nice looking gentleman…all white hair pulled back into a ponytail accompanied by a younger guy…graced our table and struck up a conversation with my daughter. Oddly enough, it didn’t appear that either man was going to leave our table…at least not the older gentleman, anyway. In my mind I’m thinking…how crazy is this? Two women…both African American…are sitting here engrossed in a conversation and two guys…both White…just inserted themselves into our space. Couldn’t they see we were in a whole goal-setting mood…and they were interrupting the flow? Obviously not…so I pretended to be interested in the chitchat assuming it would be over as quickly as it began.
And…then…came the teachable moment. My daughter, being the gracious lady she was raised to be, mentioned that she is a licensed professional counselor. The older gentleman’s eyes lit up because it turns out that he is in the psychology field as well. No…this guy isn’t just any old consultant…he is a world renowned sports psychologist, consultant, author, motivational speaker, professor, and business coach. This guy, who had so nicely interrupted my goal-setting conversation with my daughter was the founder of The Center for Winning Performance, Jack Llewellyn, Ph.D.
Um…once I found the strength to close my mouth and swallow hard from embarrassment of how self-absorbed I had been just moments earlier, I opened my ears and benefited from the wonderful nuggets Jack…not Dr. Llewellyn dropped at our table. He actually dropped more than life nuggets; Jack left three of his most recent books with us, autographed…and at NO charge! The books’ titles surely got my attention: “Get the Mud Out of the Water,” Winning Sure Beats Losing,” and “tools for life’s spiritual journey.” That’s when I learned about Dr. Jack Llewellyn.
Jack is credited with making the Atlanta Braves one the most successful franchises in baseball during the ‘90’s. He is referred to as the “Mental Development Coach” and later in his career developed a practice transferring those skills and techniques he’s used with athletes to coaching executives in the workplace. And…Jack is now facing one of his most challenging battles…coping with multiple sclerosis. But, is that stopping him? Not at all…he’s still teaching, coaching, authoring new books…and interrupting Type A personality folks like me who could learn a thing or two from a “pro”…like Dr. Jack Llewellyn. THANK you, Sir.
Jeannine LaRue is the author of the popular series, “I’m Just Sayin’.” Learn more about her and her works here…