“The most important thing in the world is to be important to someone”
I want to share with you a comment that was posted by Don Sheppard following my recent keynote at a YMCA Leadership Conference this past weekend. “It was wonderful to have Pete Luongo present at our YMCA Leadership Conference this past weekend. I am indebted to Pete for the many things he taught me during my days at UD and was grateful to have our YMCA of Greater Indianapolis learn from him. He has so much wisdom to share on the subject of leadership and does such a dynamic job of sharing it.” I share that with you not so much to impress you with the wonderful experience that both myself and audience shared, but rather to remind you that each and every day we are blessed with the opportunity to make a small, and sometimes significant difference in people’s lives.
I met Don 12 years ago when I was teaching the MBA Capstone Strategy course at the University of Dayton as an executive in residence. It was during that one semester that I got to know Don not only as a very bright and engaging student but also a terrific young man with huge upside. Over that semester and in a number of subsequent conversations over these last number of years, Don has sought me out for advice and counsel on professional career choices as well as how to become a more effective servant leader! The poise and confidence that I witnessed in Don this past weekend made me proud that in some small way I have played a part in helping Don grow both personally and professionally.
In every United Way speech that I delivered as both Campaign Chair and Board Chair I always closed my remarks with this quote, “To the whole world we may be one person, but to one person we can be the whole world.” Being part of Don’s conference was a blessing and a reminder to me once again that, “the most important thing in the world is to be important to someone.”