Volume 3, Issue 12

December 2014

Blue Ridge Conference

Save the Date:

October 14 - 16, 2015

Blue Ridge Conference on Leadership

Black Mountain, NC

A Time for Celebration!

The Holiday Season is a wonderful reminder to celebrate all the important people and relationships in your life! Take the time to encourage someone’s heart! 

One of my favorite movies is It’s A Wonderful Life. I watch it with my family every Christmas. You know, the Frank Capra film starring Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey and Donna Reed as Mary Bailey. George thinks all is lost but then is reminded of all he has done to impact the lives of others by an adorable wingless angel Clarence. At the end, he realizes how much he has to be thankful for and runs through the streets celebrating his new revelation by screaming “Merry Christmas” and telling everyone how much he loves them. Just thinking about this last portion of the movie leaves me happy and feeling good. It also reminds me that the holidays are an important time of celebration. We have spiritual services, office parties, community parades, and special family dinners to mark this time of year. All are designed to celebrate life, love, and accomplishments. 

 This theme of celebration is not only important for our personal lives, but it is also an integral part of the practice of leadership. Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner have researched leadership for more than 30 years and have distilled their research into five exemplary practices of leadership. The fifth practice is to “encourage the heart” of others by recognizing their contributions and also by celebrating shared values and victories. Unfortunately, the hustle and bustle of daily life and the holiday season tend to make this important practice an afterthought if we remember to do it at all. 

 So, my encouragement for you is to think about George Bailey running through the streets or the tinkle of a bell which means an angel has earned their wings (Good ole Clarence!) and remember to be intentional about celebrating and recognizing the impact of all of those around you. There is no better time to encourage the heart of others.

-Hope Stockton

                        The contributor for this month's newsletter is Hope Stockton

Executive Director,Blue Ridge Conference on Leadership

Director, Office of Professional and Continuing Education

Auburn University


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