He Grew Up on Mean Street

“He’s a different person. The change is amazing.” VP Human Resources


Smart, driven, aggressive, acerbic, on the attack.

Twice he told people to”Sit down and shut the f— up.”

It was a problem of the heart.

It started long ago when

He grew up

On Mean Street.

He had to be tough to survive so

He grew armor around his heart.

Then he sharpened his tongue, and

Used it as a sword.


I was there on his behalf,

To find him.

So he put down the sword, and when he did I asked

“Would you let me see behind the armor? You can have it back if you need it.”

A picture of two children on his desk.

“If they came home from school and said,

‘Dad, the teacher told me to sit down and shut the f— up?”

Tears filled his eyes

Dissolved the armor

Behind it was his heart

Crying for his children, for his child, for those he had hurt

He said “I am afraid to lose my edge.

It is what got me here.”

I replied “It won’t get you there, where you want to be.”


He is there.


A place called Self.

Not a different person

Him Self

To touch the human heart

An honor and a privilege

Future Episodes

  • Coaching and the Brain
  • Thickening the Skin
Anne Perschel
Anne Perschel
When she is not consulting; coaching; reading and writing about leadership; or enjoying her work in other ways; Anne can be found:

Listening to ocean waves receding over stones.
Enjoying the spontaneous expressions of young children who haven’t yet learned to hide their emotions.
Taking in the scent of freesias, lilacs or salt water.
Enjoying the great, or not so great, outdoors and all variations of nature’s gifts.
At the gym.

As Seen In:

The Heart of Coaching