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Posts tagged ‘Influence’

Teaching us How to Listen, Lead… and Live

Peggy GasiorWhen your child…, strike that… when your daughter … goes off to college, you hold your breath. You hope that she connects with friends and gains a sense of community – in a hurry. You wish for peace of mind  (both hers and yours) about an environment that is safe and nurturing. And you pray for friends who will be a positive influence on her.

And then someone like Peggy Gasior walks in the door and you realize that you’ve hit the trifecta. Hope realized. Wish granted. Prayer answered. Continue reading “Teaching us How to Listen, Lead… and Live” »

A Legacy of Effort and Excellence

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” Shannon L. Alder

The pursuit of excellence. Wouldn’t we all like to say that it is our daily focus?  Ah, but life always seems to get in the way. Deadlines. Conflicts. Guilty pleasures like reality TV or Krispy Kreme doughnuts. It’s easy to get lost online for hours between tweets and posts, pings and pokes. Before long, we’re making excuses or compromising. It just happens. Continue reading “A Legacy of Effort and Excellence” »

Where On Earth Do I Begin?

Most role models don’t seek to play the part. Just ask Charles Barkley. But when you’re recognized for your gifts, sometimes it just goes with the territory. There are legions of savvy investors who study Warren Buffet and try to copy his investing strategies. They pore over his annual Berkshire Hathaway newsletter to see what he’s investing in today and thinking about tomorrow.  When it comes to advances in the internet, people follow Chris Anderson, and read his publication, Wired, cover to cover. For others, it’s Oprah Winfrey.  Or maybe Tim Tebow. Continue reading “Where On Earth Do I Begin?” »

He Needed a Nudge

“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” – Margaret Mead

He Needed a NudgeFor all the valuable lessons I learned from my father, one of the more impactful ones came to me second-hand. I think of it often as I start my day, and it makes me ask myself two questions: Whose life or circumstance can I improve today? Among my circle of family and friends, who will end their day knowing that I really care about them? Continue reading “He Needed a Nudge” »

The Courage to Connect

“There can be no vulnerability without risk; there can be no community without vulnerability; there can be no peace, and ultimately no life, without community.”

- Scott Peck, Author of The Road Less Travelled

I’ve learned a great deal about building community from two people I know primarily through social media: a retired nurse from upstate New York and a marketing manager at a mortgage company in San Diego. Both have recently embarked on writing careers, and they blog regularly about their writing journeys.  They both demonstrate a quality that is fundamental to creating powerful relationships with others: they connect – not superficially, but in a grab-your-heart and-squeeze kind of way. Continue reading “The Courage to Connect” »

Lessons on Passion and Pedro Pan

Lessons on Passion and Pedro PanEarly in my working career I received an amazing life lesson from a little man from Cuba. He was at least forty years my senior, wore a clip-on tie, and half the time I couldn’t understand a word he said. But he displayed passion like I’d never seen before. The last time I saw him was on Election Day in November 1986. I’ll never forget him. Continue reading “Lessons on Passion and Pedro Pan” »

The Samaritan and the Saint

Martin Luther King, Jr.The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was:  “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?”  But… the good Samaritan reversed the question:  “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”  ~Martin Luther King, Jr. (delivered on April 3, 1968, the night before he was assassinated)

 

What causes a person to dig deep and devote their life to someone they hardly know? When a child is abandoned by a family and neglected by society, what moves another person to say, “I’ll take the responsibility?” Maybe it’s faith. Maybe it’s a heightened social maturity. Or maybe there’s a sense that both people will be blessed in a powerful way. In the case of Becky and Jimmy, I think it’s all three. Continue reading “The Samaritan and the Saint” »

Giving His All

History is sometimes a matter a perspective. When you witness an event with your eyes, it may be a fleeting memory. When you feel it in your bones, it can stay with you for years. When it hammers on your heart, you remember it for a lifetime.

William & Mary Basketball

Photo by College of William and Mary on Flickr

The greatest sporting experience I’ve ever had started with only a glimmer of hope. When the game ended I thought it was the most exciting basketball game I’d ever seen. But it was only on reflection years later that I began to truly appreciate the enormity of what I’d witnessed on December 7, 1977. Continue reading “Giving His All” »

The Dreamer

When we are dreaming alone it is only a dream. When we are dreaming with others, it is the beginning of reality. – Dom Helder Camara

 

Most people go through life without a definitive idea of what they want to be when they grow up. Early on, little revelations start to get in the way of childhood dreams. Too slow for the NFL. Poor vision won’t cut it in the astronaut program. Pirates aren’t the fun-loving bunch you thought they were. But what happens when you know, without a doubt, what you want to do?  You can taste it. It’s your destiny. And then you find out you’re wrong, it’s not going to happen. Maybe only then can you discover what God really has in mind for you. Continue reading “The Dreamer” »

Worth Getting Messy

Many of us like to address messy situations from a comfortable distance. We feel better if we can help out by writing a check or volunteering for a few hours. If we’re not too busy.  If we’re pretty sure there won’t be a lot of drama involved. But who in their right mind would embrace the opportunity to help people in the midst of crisis – whenever and wherever – and do it every day?  Perhaps someone who recognizes his gifts. Someone who sees God’s calling for his life. Someone like Bob Barnes. Continue reading “Worth Getting Messy” »