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“Often the greatest gifts in life are those we weren’t expecting to receive.”

Earlier this month I spoke with the leaders from the Rockwood School District and Stanton Elementary. The district is one of the finest in the country; the grade school is simply outstanding. In preparing for the event I knew the room would be jam-packed with fantastic teachers, administrators, and principals.

I had no idea, though, it would also include one very special family.

The program I shared is called “The Power of One.” It’s a reminder that one person, one idea, one statement radically and permanently changes the lives of others. In other words, everything we say and do either lifts others up or pushes them down.

I shared the stories of my family members (how each one changed my life through words and deeds the day I was burned); of nurse Roy (how his daily challenge lead directly to me eventually regaining the ability to walk); and of Hall of Fame announcer Jack Buck (how in referring to me as “Kid,” that his voice, presence, encouragement, generosity, and love encouraged a little boy to not just survive a fire, but to thrive in life). The program concluded with these leaders making bold commitments to live “The Power of One” and to be like “Jack” for others.

As they completed their written commitments, their outstanding Principal Matt Miller came to the front and said he wanted to share the commitment of someone sitting at his table. He slowly read the following commitment with an emotional, shaky, impassioned voice:

“Kid, my dad would be so proud of all you’ve done in your life.”

It seemed a bit odd to me…. until he shared the name of the person who made the commitment:

“Jack Buck Jr.”

Jack Buck’s son had never heard the full story of his dad visiting some burned kid in a hospital room. Never heard the impact that his dad’s voice had in speaking light into my darkness. Never heard the story of the baseballs his dad sent to my house – with the catch that I’d only get another ball if I wrote “thank you” notes. Never heard the story of the Hall of Fame speech – or the priceless crystal baseball his dad gave away.

But on a hot August day, surrounded by his wife, his kids, and some outstanding educators, Jack Buck Jr was reminded along with everyone else, not only of the beauty of his own father, but also the truth that one person can indeed make a massive difference in the lives of others.

My friends, today you receive a gift that perhaps you weren’t expecting. The gift is a challenge from me. You see, everything you do everyday of your life matters profoundly.

So be intentional today in seeking opportunities to shine light into the lives of those around you. Be persistent in seeking opportunities to live the Power of One through your life. And be confident that at the end of your journey you’ll receive a love letter from someone you least expected reassuring you that “Kid, my dad would be so proud of all you’ve done through your life.”

John O’Leary (Kid)

PS: at the bottom of the newsletter there are links to both the video of Jack Buck’s impact on my life and pictures of my meeting with Jack Buck Jr. Check them out!

Celebrate YOUR Company’s SUCCESS

“One Idea Well Executed Can Change Your Life Forever” – Tom Hill

As some of you may know, Rising Above is be part of a national campaign to expand within business, health care, education and individuals the ability to innovate and thrive in life. As we build momentum toward our October public launch, I need your help!

All of us work with/live with others who through some idea, some process literally changed the trajectory of their business/life. I’m asking you to share your story with me!

Please send an email to gbaker@ideaneers.com that shares how an idea from someone within your company, school, hospital, or home lead to significant growth or innovation. Your story could become part of a national story that celebrates the truth that one person can -and does – make a huge difference!

Please email your example, keep innovating, and let’s celebrate together the truth that the best is yet to come!

Thanks to our partners!

We were fortunate to speak last month with 20 organizations comprising of more than 15,000 new friends! What a month!!! Thanks in particular to our partners:

Applied Imaging
Collinsville High School
Missouri Telecommunications Industry Association
Northwestern Mutual
Prairie Health Ventures
Rockwood School District
Stanton Elementary
Tastefully Simple

Jack Buck Video
Pic of Jack Jr on Facebook.

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