Thank You, From A Mom
I was in the UD Emerging Leadership Program in in 2007-2008. I had the pleasure of hearing you speak and participating as you guided us through your book.
Imagine my surprise when I went to my Amazon basket this morning and discovered your book, “The Ten Truths About Leadership, It’s Not Just About Winning.” I knew I hadn’t put it there and I recalled my 18 year old son telling my daughter about a guest speaker he heard in class at UD last night.
So I texted him about the book and he replied that he had met you last night in his athletics class and said “he gave us the best speech I ever heard!”
I was taken aback. So I wanted to express my thanks to you, and awe, that you were able to touch my freshmen football player in the same way you touched my 40-something self 11 years ago. You have an amazing gift and you’ve given us a new topic to connect on.
The back story is that I’ve had the privilege for the last twelve years serving as a guest lecturer for a Life Skills course for freshmen athletes at the University of Dayton. Utilizing my book as one of their required readings, each of the students is charged with writing a reflection paper on the takeaways from the book. I continue to be impressed each semester with their collective impressions as to how both the book and the lectures provide purpose meaning and perspective as they begin to navigate their way through a college education as a student athlete.
Since retirement 16 years ago, I have been blessed to be able to speak to countless organizations and groups ranging from 2000 IBM sales reps in Las Vegas to a leadership class at Fairmont High School in Kettering, Ohio. It is always my hope that in some small way I will have made an impact in their lives. Recognizing that our lives are ultimately defined by making a difference in other people’s lives we can never discount the impact we can have when we deepen our level or understanding of others and no longer fear the differences but learn to honor them. I believe that more than winning is the need to serve a higher purpose. The ultimate challenge for all of us as individuals, parents, bosses, employees, coaches, teachers, volunteers, students, siblings and parents is never commit the sins of selfishness, ingratitude, or ungratefulness, as we pursue our dream. We all have within us the need to to be loved and respected and we only become more human as leaders when we learn to love and serve others. Hopefully the letter from Kathleen will serve as a reminder that, “The only time we realize our dreams is when we help other people realize theirs.”