After the first session of any course I teach, whether at the university level or to non-degree seeking professionals and entrepreneurs, I get students that inevitably consider dropping out.
That is because I frame the next six to eight weeks as possibly the most challenging of their academic experience. In fact, I go so far as to visioncast this challenge as a grooming into the spirit of academic Navy Seals...with some students saying, "But I don't want to be a Navy Seal."
It is vital to believe in them and communcate that they will all emerge victorious.
Belief is so important, but alone, it is not enough.
The victory becomes achievable, in part, because we commit to walking together and organize, equip, and empower their unique skills through uncommon joint effort, and we will overcome inevitable obstacles.
And yes, it is tough, but these students ALL leave with a newfound courage in reaching beyond preconceived limitations, beyond fear, doubt, and disbelief, beyond a lethargy that plagues some to even not show up when it matters most.
If we, as leaders, only spoke and acted in the confident power of elevating followers through shared purpose - in an extraordinary togetherness - just imagine what we will help others to achieve far beyond what was once believed.