Posts tagged Role Models
Leadership Moment - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Have you ever had someone tell you about their hopes and dreams? Can you remember the passion in their eyes? Can you remember the conviction in their voice? This is the story of a dream and more importantly the vision of that dreamer.

Fifty-six years ago, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered one of the most important speeches in the history of the United States…and it almost didn’t happen. That’s not completely true. It almost didn’t happen in the way we know it.

Here is the little-known secret about that speech. For most of it, Dr. King was ordinary. He was somber. He spoke of the past. He preached. He scolded the powers in America. The crowd that had traveled so far and waited so long to hear him grew restless.

But then a voice cried out. A friend of Dr. King shouted…

Hear his story here.

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Leadership Moment - Doug Lennick

You are successful. You wouldn’t be interested in the content of this blog if you weren’t. Congratulations!

Now, who helped you achieve your success? All four of my parents have played a big role for me. My older sister Marie has given me encouragement and professional opportunities. There have been teachers and coaches who get credit. A professor from college hired me, mentored me, and remains a friend to this day.

However, if I was to pinpoint the most important person to my professional success, it would certainly be Doug Lennick. Doug was a legendary leader at American Express when I was starting my professional career there.

He has helped me as a coach, mentor, and friend. When a big business or personal decision needed to be made, Doug always made himself available to listen and provide sage advice.

Before we met formally, we had a chance encounter on an elevator. I don’t know what he had been doing or where he was going, but I do know that he became completely present with the rest of us on the elevator. In the 30 seconds we shared…

Hear his story here.

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Leadership Moment - Elizabeth Eckford

Somebody has to go first. It’s an unwritten rule of progress. Somebody has to be a pioneer who blazes the trail for others to follow. It’s rare that the responsibility of being a pioneer for great social change falls on the shoulders of an innocent, unassuming 15-year-old. Regardless, that’s the situation in which Elizabeth Eckford found herself.

Elizabeth was one of the Little Rock Nine. These were the nine African American students who would be the first non-white students to attend prestigious Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. As fate would have it, Elizabeth was separated from the other eight African American students on the first day of school. She was left alone to face a gauntlet of scorn, vitriol, and hatred…

Hear her story here.

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Leadership Moment - Maximilian Kolbe

There are times in life when many of us will question faith, hope, and humanity. The trigger can be a devastating natural disaster, a terror attack, a vicious act of war, a senseless crime of hate. Situations like these require a special leader.

Maximilian Kolbe was one of those leaders.

Kolbe was a Franciscan Friar who lived in Poland during the first half of the 20th century. Because his father was German, Kolbe was given the opportunity to receive preferential treatment by the Nazi occupiers. He refused, not wanting to categorize himself as superior to his neighbors.

Kolbe was eventually arrested by the Gestapo…

Hear his story here.

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Leadership Moment - Leaders at Home

This week’s Leadership Moment - Leaders at Home

Dark, dusty, and dangerous. Those are the words that could have described the Soudan Iron Mine in Northern Minnesota during its operation. Each day workers would take elevators thousands of feet below the surface of the earth to roam the 54 miles of tunnels and mine its rich veins. My grandfather was one of those workers.

When she was an adult, and after my grandfather had retired, my mom toured the mine. At one point, the tour guide extinguished his light putting Mom and the other tour members in complete darkness. She wept. It was at that moment that she realized the full extent of what her father was willing to do to make her life possible.

Listen to the episode to hear how great leaders continue to inspire us outside the workplace.

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