Let Us Give Thanks For the Great Leaders We’ve Known

Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of knowing some truly great leaders. Some I knew in professional relationships; others through my avocations.

Looking back, I see them and the impact that they had on my life with far greater clarity than I did when I was within their circles of influence.

  • First and foremost, there was my father who taught me that leadership need not be loud and boisterous. Rather, it could be quiet while setting an example for others to emulate; that the example would speak more loudly and clearly than words could ever do. He taught me that it required patience, honor, integrity, and honesty … honesty in one’s dealings with others and when seeing one’s own talents and shortcomings.
  • There was Mr. Knapp, my Cub Scout Leader who made it a point to ensure that every one of “his” boys had a ride to den and pack meetings. He made it his mission to send us to Boy Scouts with the tools we needed to continue on the Trail to Eagle Scout.
  • Mr. Satzke was my Scoutmaster. I doubt that he ever knew the impact of the example that he set when he came to the pool at summer camp to find me. It had gotten dark and cold and dinner had already been cooked and served in camp; but, one of “his boys” was still trying to pass a canoeing merit badge requirement at the pool. He brought a jacket to keep me warm and made sure that a generous serving of Mulligan Stew was kept hot for me to eat when he brought me back to the campsite.
  • Then there was my first agency manager, Ray, who introduced us to Napoleon Hill’s statement that, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve”. For Ray, this wasn’t simply a memorable quote, it was a credo that he taught to each of us and repeated it daily until we truly believed in its truth. He was committed to helping each of his followers grow and become leaders … without ever voicing these words, he was committed to replicating the best qualities in him and shaping the lives of those who would replace him and become the leaders of the future.
  • More recently, I met the owner of a company who, at the end of a very trying and exhausting week, brought a refreshment cart through the office and served cold drinks to his employees, as he personally thanked each of them for all that they had done to bring a critical project to a successful conclusion.
  • Finally, there are my fellow Scouting volunteers who give so generously of their time and talent to shape the character of the next generation of leaders.

This week, we gather with family and friends to give thanks for the many gifts that we have been given. Please join me in giving thanks for the Great Leaders who have influenced each of our lives.

Tom Hoisington is a speaker, trainer, and author whose goal is to provide leaders and potential leaders with tools that empower them to build teams that are creative and cost effective along with a clearer understanding of how personality types interact within those teams. He can be contacted at tom.hoisington@eagleoneresources.com

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