A Quiet Leader

This past weekend, a true leader was honored in my town on his 100th birthday.

Rev. John R. Winter (known as “Rev. Dick Winter”) was surprised with a community celebration by the Warrenton Volunteer Fire Company at the fire house. Rev. Winter was the minister for the Warrenton Presbyterian Church from 1953 until his retirement in 1987. He baptized me as a child then my own daughter thirty years later.

He was in the Rotary Club with my dad and sat next to each of my parents’ hospital beds countless times over the decades. He did all the things a good minister does. He preached the gospel, taught Bible classes, officiated at weddings, baptisms, funerals, enjoyed church picnics, potlucks, and coffee hours, comforted the sick and offered counseling, kindness, and encouragement to all. But there was more.  

Before we all had instant access to local news, he seemed to know where to go to offer support, comfort, and compassion in the community at large. He...

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Be the Leader You Want to See in the World

I often talk to clients who are interested in getting advanced degrees, certifications or work experience that will label them a “good leader.”

After studying the traits of high achievers, reading biographies of leaders admired by millions and watching interviews of influencers I trust, I’ve noticed something.

Few mentioned advanced degrees, certifications or work experience as forming the foundation of their success.

While those things absolutely contributed, I’ve been struck by something else. Many leaders talk about:

  • the support of family members during pivotal personal growth periods
  • appreciation for the compassion and generosity of others they met along the way
  • their response to transformative life events such as a serious accident, illness or death of a loved one
  • feeling “in the flow” when they knew deep in their soul that they were on the right track
  • an understanding of a greater purpose for their life than the one they’d been living...
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