Thoughts On Leadership & On Life

My twin passions! Does this seem a strange combination to you or an inspired one? This double whammy hit me early on.

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As a skinny eager kid, I was selected by my town to be part of the First International Girl Scout Senior Roundup. This was a big deal to me. The editor of the local paper called me in to tell me to send reports to the paper. Maybe by carrier pigeon, I’m not sure, this was a long time ago before technology took off. I did as he requested and learned my first journalism lesson from this man—always include, who, what, when, where and why. No English class could have done a better job. I was a real reporter—maybe considered a real leader as well. The town paid for me to go, that said something, right?

 

This Girl Scout honor smacked of leadership and life. I was one of 5,000 girls chosen to represent our cities and towns. We traveled to Michigan from all over the United States and some foreign countries as well. There we lived together for nearly two weeks, all the time having fun and practicing our leadership skills. True to our scouting background, we pitched our tents in fields, built campfires for cooking, and sang under the stars.

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Lots of lessons on leadership and life from this experience were stored in my brain. Come to think of it— I was a blogger in Michigan before the term blogging was even coined — and shared daily news of the Roundup from my perspective. So I blog again. This time, I believe my words are broader, richer, and more inspiring from a life well-lived.

 

Risk-taking and writing have always been part of my leadership and life as:

* A consultant to schools for 15 years working with school heads and boards helping them lead more effectively while creating better environments and programs

* A school head where I wrote more than 500 articles for faculty, staff, and parents

* An entrepreneur, part of two nonprofit startup organizations —one that became successful supporting low-income families, giving their children a better start in life —the other an organization that helped schools teach philanthropy to children where they became the doers, experiencing leadership and the joy of giving

* An author of two books, one for parents, and one for principals and those who educate and support them

* A coach for a CEO group whose members want to sharpen their leadership skills and strengthen their relationships

*A friend of the homeless community— feeding them, sometimes sleeping among them, and making them part of my life

*A columnist, contributing to the Austin American Statesman’s Faith Section, In Your Own Words, since 2008

 

Okay, why leadership? Because it matters—to relationships, progress, and peace. Our roles may vary, but it’s always present as a family member, neighbor, worker, boss, volunteer, and citizen. Some people are natural leaders, others have to work harder. Some have a bit of training, others just jump in feet first. Both kinds of people get frustrated at times as the doing is uncertain and the outcome unpredictable.

 

Okay, why life, and in a blog intertwined with leadership? Life is who we are, what we do, and how we do it. Because we only have one life to live, how we choose to live it matters enormously. We have choices to make which affect not only us as individuals, but others. Our choices ripple out, reaching those we know and those we don’t even know exist.

 

If you are wondering whether this blog is for you here is an invitation and a smattering of what you will find. There will be a crazy assortment of leadership ideas for anyone who is interested. There will be observations about the world we share from seasoned CEOs and leaders I know, and from my homeless friends who live on the streets, in the woods, and under bridges.

 

There will be snapshots of people coping, or not coping, and stories of someone caught in the act of doing something good or missing an opportunity to become more human. And always, there will be lots of questions and a few answers—On Leadership & On Life.

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