Good Leaders: What surprises help you be grateful?

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Matthew Allnatt flew in from Los Angeles to be the speaker at the Good Leadership Breakfast last Friday. His message was a wonderful surprise.

Matthew Allnatt flew in from Los Angeles to be the speaker at the Good Leadership Breakfast last Friday. His message was a wonderful surprise.

We are hardwired to expect certain moments in our lives to feel gratitude: birthdays, Mother’s and Father’s Day, anniversaries and Thanksgiving. This morning I’m surprised at how intense my feelings of gratitude are for the people who help make the Good Leadership Breakfast Series successful:

Speakers. Servers. Technicians. Musicians. Planners, managers, drivers, lifters, counters, interns, hosts, guests, and sponsors!

Matthew Allnatt, COO of the Jonathan Club, was our speaker this past Friday. His message was electric with positivity.

Surprising over and over again

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Sponsors from Allina, Cargill, FRWD and many, many others are fueling the movement with their love and support.

Sponsors from Allina, Cargill, FRWD and many, many others are fueling the movement with their love and support.

One day about four years ago, my mentor Richard Leider asked me if I was wholeheartedly committed to my message. At that very instance, I was surprised at my internal voice…it said “maybe.” What the heck was that?! As I walked out of his office, I was surprised at visions of all of the people in my life who have come together around the idea: Goodness Pays.

Standing in the parking lot in the sunlight, I made a wholehearted commitment. Goodness Pays. And the floodgates of gratitude and abundance began to open.

What we are learning

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Co-host Julie McDonough helped speaker Colleen Needles Steward draw a winner for the Bucket of Good Will fundraiser.

Co-host Julie McDonough helped speaker Colleen Needles Steward draw a winner for the Bucket of Good Will fundraiser.

Goodness comes alive when good leaders work together with good intentions to make great things possible. My role is to encourage the idea that building on the Cornerstones of Goodness will always be surprising for you as a leader: rewarding excellence, living generously, promoting fairness and spreading positivity!

This year four spectacular speakers fueled the movement: Colleen Needles Steward, Beth Goetz, Maureen Bausch, and Matthew Allnatt. Each shared their inner secrets of how they navigated the tensions and harmonies at the intersection of their personal and professional lives. Every story is familiar, and yet somehow surprising!

Grateful again and again

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Beth Goetz allowed me to share my Gopher pride by welcoming her to the stage in my ratty old Minnesota hat.

Beth Goetz allowed me to share my Gopher pride by welcoming her to the stage in my ratty, old Minnesota hat.

This morning I’m reflecting on 52 meetings of the Good Leadership Breakfast over 6 and 1/2 years. It wouldn’t surprise me if the luster was wearing off. If people were getting bored, and finding something else to do with their eight Friday mornings a year. We’ve settled into a familiar format – doesn’t repetition create complacency?

Somehow, the energy is still electric – fueled by people working together with positivity and hope for “What’s possible?” in our leadership. More people attending than ever and selling out sooner each month. More people watching videos online. Creating less food waste. Raising more money with the HANDy Paint Pail. Inviting more guests. And most important – suggesting more ways to spread goodness!

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Grateful! How did I get to where I could share breakfast with Maureen Bausch? Its still surprising to me.

Grateful! How did I get to where I could share breakfast with Maureen Bausch? It’s still surprising to me.

So why am I surprised? Surprise is a good thing! It’s like the anticipation of a well-researched, nicely-wrapped gift on Father’s Day. Even if the ritual is familiar – when the right people are assembled with love and good intentions – it’s always surprising. And I’m always grateful.

Good leaders see their journey with fresh eyes in ways that keep the magic of surprise alive. And they are grateful for all of the wonderful people who demonstrate Goodness Pays.

What surprises in your life help you be grateful?

We have another amazing lineup of speakers for the Good Leadership Breakfast Fall 2016 Series. Grab your tickets today.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

1 Comment

  1. Jeff Meacham on May 24, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    I’ve had a couple of opportunities this week to share the surprise of early cancer detection and living a life of sincere gratitude ever since. Lots more to this story of course.



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