Friday, December 17, 2010

a christmas thank you

Christmas is a time of year when we get a chance to say THANK YOU to people who have touched our lives over the past year. I would like to take this space to extend a THANK YOU to several people who have been LEADERS to me over the past year. Consider this my Christmas Leadership Thank You List...
  • Tom Cedel - Tom serves as the President of Concordia University Texas, and I consider him to be the one who gives me practical leadership advice. When situations arise at the Uniuversity that I do not understand or want more information about, he is able to explain to me how he makes his decisions and why he makes those decisions. This is a wonderful learning tool for me as I get a "sneak peek" into the process of decision making at the executive level. I am thankful for the time he gives me and for his great leadership of our institution.
  • Alan Runge - Alan is my direct boss who serves as the Provost at CTX. Alan is the one who pushes me to consider the next great thing I can accomplish. He helps me set stretch goals and never lets me settle for small or insignificant goals. He has a grand vision of what we can and should be doing, and will not let me "coast." His drive to make things happen pushes me when I think it might be okay to coast for awhile. In addition, he is always willing to listen to me and settle me down when I get too excited about something. I am thankful for his mentoring and his willingness to let me shape the job to my strengths abilities.
  • Linda Ford - Linda came onto my radar screen a little over a year ago, and since January has been serving as the Director of The Concordia MBA. She is my emotional leader, who dreams with me about what CAN be and gets excited with me when those dreams become a reality. Her ability to think big picture, imagine the possibilities, push people to do their best and then MAKE THINGS HAPPEN inspires me on a regular basis. At most meetings between the two of us, at least one of us becomes "verklempt." I am thankful for her willingness to dream with me and to join me on an amazing journey this past year.
  • Ralph Wagoner - Ralph is the retired president of Augustana College in Souix Falls, South Dakota who served as my leadership coach for about 6 months over a year ago. Since that time he has stayed in touch and helped me think through situations that frustrate or confuse me. He is the ultimate "question asker" and always has an encouraging word for me. Ralph has a way of helping me think through the big issues of life in a clarifying manner - and then encourages me to go after my dreams. His wisdom is absolutely invaluable. I thank him for his words of encouragement and for his belief in my ability to lead.
  • Billy Moyer - Billy is president of SOS Leadership....and is a mere 25 years old. While he is half my age, he is an inspiration to me in the way he talks about leadership and makes things happen among young leaders. It has always been a dream of mine to find a way for young leaders to mentor young leaders - Billy does that! As I hear him talk about his ideas and the way he is out mentoring young leaders, I get excited and want to join him in that pursuit. I an thankful to Billy for helping me launch our Emerging Leaders Advisory Board - and for inspiring me to be a mentor to others.
  • Ron Kessler - Ron is a coach and consultant here in Austin and serves as the chair of the College of Business Advisory Board. For me, he is the ultimate ENCOURAGER. When I need advice, or encouragement, or just want to talk, I give Ron a call amd we meet for coffee or lunch. By the end of the conversation, I am feeling like a million dollars and am ready to go out and set the world on fire (to use just a few leadership cliches). I have yet to meet someone who does not like (love) Ron - and I feel the same. I am thankful for Ron's consistent encouragement - and his willingness to serve as a mentor for me in my present (and future) leadership capacities.

That's my list - I hope you have a list of people who serve as leaders in your life. Be sure to take a moment and say THANK YOU to them for what they do for you - and for their influence in your life.

A Blessed Christmas to all of you...and God bless us, everyone!


Billy Moyer said...

Thank you, Don! Merry Christmas to you! I am very thankful for your friendship and leadership.

Amber Fogarty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amber Fogarty said...

I agree 100% about Billy Moyer's leadership! I'm impressed with the Young Leaders group that he helped you to launch at Concordia!

Don, you are an inspiration and a true leader who makes a difference. I'm so happy to know you! Have a blessed Christmas and a fantastic 2011!