Seabiscuit and Tom Smith

Quote: “Coaching leaders want great people to develop in great ways, and they want to be an integral part of the process! – Daniel Harkavy

In the movie, Seabiscuit, there is a scene where Charles Howard, the eventual owner of the extraordinary racehorse, meets Tom Smith, the talented and renowned horse trainer.  The setting takes place at night over a campfire with an injured racehorse tied to a tree on the perimeter of the campsite.  Earlier that day the horse had badly injured its leg in a race.  Instead of shooting the horse, Tom decided to help heal the horse’s leg and nurse it back to health.  That evening at the campfire, Charles Howard (CH) and Tom Smith (TS) meet for the first time with the following transcribed conversation:

CH: “Hi there!  Charles Howard.”

TS:  (with a hand shake) “Tom Smith.  Would you like to sit down?”

CH: “Nice to meet ya, Tom.  (Looking at the injured horse) “What’s in his bandage?”

TS:  “Oh that.  That’s Hawthorne root.  It increases circulation.  You want to sit down?”

CH: “All right.  Thank you.  Will he get better?”

TS:  “Already is.”

CH: “Will he race again?”

TS:  “No, not that one.”

CH: “Then why are you fixing him?”

TS: “Because I can.  Every horse is good for something.  Why he could be a cart- horse, or a lead pony, and besides he’s nice to look at.  You don’t throw a whole life away just because he’s banged up a little.”

From this conversation, Tom Smith is demonstrating a real passion for horses because he is willing to go the extra mile to help “fix” the injured horse.  Tom simply loves horses and believes in his heart that every horse is good for something, even if they are “banged up a little”; therefore, his genuine passion and love for horses makes him a superb horse trainer. 

I highlight this scene in Seabiscuit because I believe great coaching leaders are a lot like Tom.  They may not have a passion and love for horses, but they most certainly have a similar kind of genuine passion and love for people.  Great coaching leaders realize that every person is good for something, endowed by their Creator with special gifts and talents, designed with a unique purpose to contribute to life.  As a result, they are able to see potential inside of others, even when they are not at their best, believing in faith that their fullest potential and purpose can be realized in life.  The apostle Paul says in Romans 8:37, “Yet in all these things [challenges of life] we are more than conquerors through Him [Jesus] who loved us.” With a spirit of generosity and humility, may we be willing to serve others with loving-kindness by going the extra mile to help people learn, grow, and develop into the extraordinary people they are capable of becoming in God’s grace.

The Make It Happen Servant Leadership Value: “Make It Happen” People Are Led By Servant Leaders!

Have a blessed “Make It Happen” day!

Edited by The Make It Happen Moment ® Editorial Team

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