“All of us are born for a reason, but all of us don’t discover why. Success in life has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It’s what you do for others.” - Danny Thomas
Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the funeral of my friend Kermit. A pleasure, you ask? Yes, a pleasure and a honor, because it was a great celebration of Kermit’s life and the passion and spirit he brought to living it.
Usually, when I go to funerals, the spiritual leader (pastor, minister, rabbi, cleric, etc.) goes on and on about the deceased, a person he barely knows; and maybe one or two friends or associates might say something about the deceased. Well, Kermit’s funeral was special. The pastor spoke briefly, a singer sang a hymn, and then the pastor asked for comments from the audience. That’s when the funeral became really special. After one and a half hours later, over forty people had gotten up and shared their positive experiences and what Kermit meant to them. People from their 20’s to well over 60-year-old people from different spiritual, ethnic, social, and economic backgrounds stood up to make comments. People who served with him in the Navy (Kermit retired as a Commander) stood up and spoke about how Kermit changed their lives.
There was story after story about how Kermit made the speakers overcome obstacles and made them believe they could do better, and did this with passion. Some of them were as follows:
- Past ballplayers talked about Kermit’s cowbell as a rallying cry at their ballgames.
- A woman told of having a flat tire on a busy roadway and Kermit, whom she didn’t know at the time, stopped and helped her fix the tire; and then they became friends.
- A businessperson talked about how Kermit volunteered his time to help him launch a business that is still going strong after ten years.
- A previous player described how he was motivated by Kermit to make something of himself. He went to college and is a very successful basketball coach teaching the same principles that Kermit taught him.
- A man explained that he was going through a divorce and bankruptcy and was thinking of committing suicide. Kermit heard about his troubles, called him, and helped him through these dark times. Now this person helps others through their challenging moments in life.
Wow! It moved me. Here are five leadership skills and success secrets Kermit shared with us. How can you apply them to become more successful and outstanding leaders?
- Leadership Skill: What is Your Cowbell? Create Passion! – Kermit truly enjoyed working with people to make them better. It was not just the cowbell, but the emotion and excitement he experienced when seeing other people succeed. The cowbell was just the tool that Kermit used to show his passion so that others became passionate. Let your passion show. Let people know that you are excited about their accomplishments, and the passion will multiple.
To read the rest of the article and learn additonal leaderhip secrets, go to leadership.