In 2008 my wife and I had the privilege of traveling to Israel. Part of the trip included visiting the place where the conflict between David and Goliath took place – the valley of Elah. For those who have not read the story, it can be found in I Samuel Chapter 17, verses 1-54. It is rich with detail as a titanic struggle between good and evil. For a few minutes I was able to touch the stones in the stream where scholars believe the young shepherd boy David collected 5 smooth stones in preparation for fighting the giant Philistine warrior Goliath. The images were striking. I could almost feel the drama of the story unfolding, imagining the thoughts of a shepherd selecting the stones that he was going to use in this life or death conflict.
For most people and organizations, the idea of change is both hopeful and terrifying. We all hope for a better future, and that things that are difficult or problematic now will improve. But the idea of change can also be troublesome, especially if the change involves risk or leaving your personal comfort zone to embrace something new.
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One of my favorite movies is the 1990’s classic “You’ve Got Mail”. The movie is about the owner of a small bookstore that is being put out of business by a super-sized bookstore chain (which is pretty ironic because in the intervening years large chain bookstores have been under attack by Amazon and other online sources). In one memor
There are many ways that leaders inspire those around them to superior performance. Providing words of encouragement, modeling the behavior that is expected from others, focusing on common goals and objectives, putting the needs of others above self-interest, actively listening, treating others with kindness and compassion, teaching and mentoring co-workers, showing appreciation to team members, setting high standards for themselves and others, and laying the groundwork for change are among the array of tools in the leaders toolbox.
One of the foundation stones of the ministry of Presbyterian Senior Living is compassion. The records from the early founders of PSL indicated that they were moved by compassion and concern for the welfare of orphans and aging persons in a time before the social safety net of Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security. The term compassion has been a part of the PSL mission statement for over 35 years.
Like many young people in the 1960’s I began my working career at a very early age. Starting with doing lawn work and doing assorted household chores for neighbors at age eleven, I graduated to working at a local chair rental business, delivering tables and chairs for special events (which in retrospect was probably a violation of child labor laws). In each of these situations, the opportunity to earn spending money provided a measure of financial independence. Just after my 12th birthday, I joined the ranks of thousands of young people delivering the Grit newspaper.