By Tom Shenk     (Spring 1992)

After the holidays, after the family parties, after the football games, after the closing of the business year, we have a brief time to reflect before blasting into the new year. With our busy schedules, it often helps to pause and use this time to take a look at where we have been and where we are going.

As I remember my own journey through 1991, several themes emerge. First, there are the many stories of woe that leave me with a feeling of despair. Second, I’m reminded of the countless opportunities I witnessed for all of us to have impact and alter the world we live in. in a world dominated by change, strong leadership does make a difference. Unfortunately, we must prepare ourselves and then step forward when the opportunity arises. For each of us that aspire to leadership, I wish in 1992 for …

Leadership Goals for ‘92

  • A deep understanding of your Gd-given gifts
  • A passion for growth and development; all living organisms must grow or they die
  • A bias for change that exceeds the explosive rate we are experiencing today
  • An non-controlling nature … Otherwise, how will anyone or anything grow around you?
  • A sense of humor so abundant that it relaxes those around you
  • One gigantic, gut-wrenching laugh a day
  • A voracious appetite for reading
  • The ability to separate your reaction from what’s happening around you
  • A deeply repenting nature
  • A deep belief in people
  • One more friend with whom you can open your heart
  • Comfort in your solitude
  • A people sensitivity and intuition that allows you to hire people whose strengths compliment yours
  • An inspiring enthusiasm that encourages those around you
  • An urgency for the development of your team as a team
  • An instinct that sees the good in people … first, middle, last, and only
  • A childlike enthusiasm for fun
  • A spirit of forgiveness … unconditionally
  • The gift of communication and the passion to do it
  • The confidence to openly apologize and say the magic words, “I was wrong.”
  • Respect for the environment and a sense of priority to do something about it
  • Incredible tolerance for ambiguity
  • The willingness and ability to inspire a shared vision
  • The courage to be decisive in the face of unrelenting dissension
  • An intuitive knack to ask the right question at the right time, an instinct to challenge the process
  • Candor and comfort in chaos
  • A bias for planning and the clairvoyance to pick a path that protects the futures of those around you
  • Honesty, integrity, and a character modeling the way
  • An unselfishness that invites the best part out of others
  • A sentence structuring that begins with “we”
  • A hug, because you don’t get enough
  • A deep compassion for the poor, the handicapped, the indigent, and the out-of-work; a sense of priority to do something about it
  • A prayerful heart and a reliance on faith that you can feel in your bones