Who’s watching you lead by example?

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Gustavus President Jack Ohle, honored Melinda and me during our Sesquicentennial Disney moment

In the cinematic drama of daily living, people are definitely watching. Sometimes that’s a melodrama and every once in a while we accidentally star in our own Disney movie.

This past Saturday, Melinda and I were honored by our Alma Mater, Gustavus Adolphus College, as recipients of a Sesquicentennial Award.   “Sesquicentennial” means 150th anniversary.  In the 150th year of the College, President Jack Ohle and the Board of Trustees identified 150 leaders (or couples) who have contributed in significant ways to the future of the college.  The award letter reads: “You live out in your life the core values of the College — excellence, community, justice, service and faith — and represent all that is good about Gustavus.” My bride and I were swept away with an overwhelming sense of “how in the world is this happening!?  What did we do to deserve this!!?

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Melinda and me, embracing our Gustie Oscar

The award itself was special but the setting was downright surreal. Several hundred people gathered in Christ Chapel for the Home Concert of the Gustavus Choir.  Our two oldest children, Ben and Katie, were fully robed and ready to sing. Anna, sat in the front row next to Uncle John and Aunt Marcy.  Before President Ohle opened the concert, he shared his appreciation for Melinda and me, as we gratefully embraced a commemorative bronze sculpture: #56 of 150. Our very own Oscar.

But, alas, every good storyline has a twist.  We accepted the award in a shadow of sadness.  One of my earliest life mentors Bob Peterson, passed away in anticipation of the Home Concert. Bob was a mentor to me through college and many years beyond. He really, really loved the Gustavus Choir.  Over the years, he heard me sing in Christ Chapel more than my own parents.  When I arrived on campus, he was an approachable vice president who took me under his wing: he showed me how to be comfortable wearing a suit and tie at work.  He taught me how to raise money for causes bigger than me. Bob got me my first real job out of college and he taught me that people are always watching.

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The Batz family: Anna, Paul, Melinda, Ben and Katie

So with the full Gustavus Choir nervously, patiently enduring the Presidential ceremony, we knew they were watching. The concert and the ceremony were also broadcast live via streaming on the Internet. My two sisters were online, watching.  And I’m hoping that Bob Peterson was watching as well.

Good leaders dedicate themselves to something good, and they keep giving whether anyone is watching or not.

Thank you for all the Facebook well-wishes; its nice to relive the buzz…and to share a message about what’s good in the world.

Drop me a note and share one of your “who’s watching” moments.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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