Houston, TX – The intention of the blog series is to have millennials discussing what is important to them while giving advice to older and younger generations in the workforce. The unfortunate state of the workplace from my perspective is too many people stereotype millennials and do not see the immediate value each unique individual brings to the position. No person wants to be stereotyped regardless of their generation.

The exciting thing about being in dialogue with these millennials is the great advice, talent and commitment they share in wanting to make a real difference. I know this talent exists across all industries and this blog series will highlight everyday people doing extraordinary things. Fortunately, these young professionals are being recognized in their organizations and there are lessons to learn from each of them.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Corey is who an educator at Westwood High School and head basketball coach. He is 32 years of age. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Multidisciplinary Studies from Texas Tech University and his Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Grand Canyon University.
Corey attributes his success at this point to his parents. Both were educators, so growing up I got to see some of the behind the scenes action that goes on in the world of education. I got to see, firsthand, the amount of work that went into each lesson and how much passion my parents had for their students. With that foundation, the next biggest attribute to my success is my willingness to work and work hard. I have never been afraid to get my hands dirty and I think that mentality has really earned me a lot of respect from coworkers, who may have labeled me upon first meeting me.

I defy the millennial stereotype, in that regard. I believe that you get what you work for, but know that even with hard work, the terms and conditions regarding when you get what you’ve worked for is out of my hands. I have had great mentors along my journey as well. I owe so much to those who took me under their wing as a new coach and built me up. Jeremy Mills, Jason Pillow, Louis Means – are just a few of the coaches who I spent countless hours with and learned from. Aside from all of that, luck has been on my side. I have been so lucky to cross paths with not just the men listed above, but the countless student athletes who have played their heart out for me.

Corey’s dream job was becoming a head coach since he was in high school. Achieving that, fulfilled that dream. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be the Head Coach here at Westwood High School. I remember thinking to myself, as a player, that one day I would lead a basketball program at some point in my life – and the same thought has been with me ever since.

Corey’s passion is basketball, right? Yes, basketball is an extreme passion of mine and it is so great he gets to work in a career where his passion is fulfilled. However, being a great husband and father take the crown here. I have again been so blessed to have found Amanda and together we created our son, Kodah. They are what drive me to do what I do. My passion for basketball and using the game to mold young boys into fine men is driven by my family.
What makes the work situation ideal is that Corey has a pretty transparent relationship with his current supervisor which makes for a great working relationship. They communicate pretty much every day and stay on the same page constantly. My advice to other bosses would be just that, keep everyone in the loop and make sure communication is clear and concise.
I asked Corey what advice he had for other young professionals and here is what he said “No one owes you anything. You earn respect by working hard. Nothing worth having is given to you nor does it come quickly. You could work your butt off for years and still not get what you feel you have earned. When that happens, you will find out who you are. Be the one who works harder and not the one who quits, passes blame or refuses to self-reflect”. This is great advice for everyone.

Like many young professionals, there may be times when you are passed up for a promotion. This is certainly true for Corey where he applied for several head coaching jobs did fail to obtain the position. According to Corey, each one of them was a learning lesson. With this attitude is not surprising he has achieved career success.

Professionally it is my purpose to be able to mold the lives of young men through the game of basketball. I hope to teach every student and athlete I come across how to handle adverse situations with dignity and pride. How to handle both winning and losing. I feel that learning this now, will help them overcome the obstacles that are going to come at them later in life.

As the interviewer, I would describe Corey’s success in large part because of his strong work ethic, passion, energy generosity of spirit, attention to detail, authenticity, and problem solver. Corey has what I call the X-factor, you might not be able to describe it, but you know it when you see it.

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