The Inspired Expression Of A Leader

Sitting across the table from Lou Nanne yesterday, as I spoke with him about life, a feeling I will never forget came over me. I was sitting in the booth where we were going to conduct our interview. Taking notes, writing down points I’m going to touch on for the story I wanted to tell. That’s when it happened, something profound struck me. Lou walked up to me, without me knowing… as I was focused on my message. He just stood there. At that very moment a feeling came over me. I can only explain it as an “Energy”. My chest felt heavy, my blood started rushing and adrenaline exploded within me. It’s a feeling I have had around very few people. Nervous… No, Excited… Yes!! But, still — it was something else…

I stood up, like a lieutenant in the presence of a Military General. “Hello, Lou!” I said, as I put out my hand to shake his, in all due respect. He shook my hand and looked at me with a look I will never forget. It was a look that pierced deep into my soul. Lou was searching for my identity. The real me. It was at that very moment I knew our interview, this opportunity, was going to be something special. I knew, because his look reminded me of my grandfather.

Like my grandfather Ken Murphy, an entrepreneur, who partnered with a good size printing supply company “Litho Supply Depot, Inc.” —  on its last $500 dollars before going broke. My grandfather embraced this challenge bestowed to him. In return, building Litho Supply Depot, Inc. into a 63 million dollar company he sold in the 1970’s. That look Lou gave me… brought me back to a time when I was a kid, about 15 and my grandfather shook my hand with that same look. He said, “Grandson, if you’re going to be somebody in this world don’t be scared to lead.”

I’ll never forget those words my grandfather gave me. They are words I think about often. As I strive to be a successful entrepreneur. Each day I am realizing authentic leadership is what it takes to win. Win in the game of life and the game of business. Like Lou Nanne said to me, “I believe some people are born to lead.” From a young age I believed the same thing.

Looking back I remember athletics was my gift. Through this gift I was able to stand out and lead other kids when we played: football, baseball or hockey. They looked up to me because of my physical skills and the confidence I showed when it came time to compete.

As I grew older, physical skill wasn’t the only thing you needed to win. Entering into high school, as a freshman, I had the chance to try out for varsity sports in football, baseball and hockey. Relying on my god given athletic ability I was able to make the varsity baseball team as a freshman. This win instilled a confidence in me that “Anything Is Possible.” Very few kids made the varsity baseball team as freshman. I was one of them.

Being recruited by the University of Minnesota for Football, Baseball & Hockey… You could say I had people’s attention. My confidence was high and my belief in my ability to do anything was at its peak.

Just like a win can instill confidence a loss can take it away just as fast. The game of life can humble you in the blink of an eye. That’s just what it did at the end of my Junior year in high school. I was suffering from patellar tendinitis in both my knees. This was caused by all the stress I put on my body playing three sports and never resting. Sitting still was never my strength.

I’ll never forget the day word got out “Tim Murphy is having surgery” it felt like the whole world took a deep breath. As a young kid I said, “Don’t worry I will be back stronger than ever!” Little did I know what was going to really happen.

My life changed forever, the minute college scouts found out about my “health issue” I fell off the radar. I was a broken toy. It was during this time my physical gifts were taken and my mental mindset shifted. I was not going to be denied. I was not going to let someone else “Define Me.”

Heading off to play junior hockey and then college hockey I learned a lot about the struggle. I learned a lot about “Me.” Each challenge has molded me into the person I am today. Realizing along the way, “You will never know everything.” Because of this, I aspire to learn from each experience I find myself in. I pay close attention to those leaders around me making a difference. I embrace challenges presented to me everyday. Because I know a real leader “Never Quits!”

I surround myself with leaders because everyday I am looking to improve. Improve how I lead. How I lead The Murphy Family, My team members on, our home building team at and our movement . Each and everyday I am looked to for leadership. Leadership is hard, it’s lonely and it’s a never ending quest for answers. I embrace a leaders journey because I know, real leaders improve people’s lives by inspiring them to be more than they ever thought they could be. When successful, those around you change the world.

When Lou looked deep into my soul and saw my identity. This is what he saw. That’s why he asked, “Why do you do this Tim… This show?” I responded before we went on air, “because I believe leaders don’t hide Lou. This podcast is about the leaders in our community. The leaders in Edina & Southwest Minneapolis. Leaders like you. Who share their story — inspiring young people to believe Anything Is Possible.”

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