Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Know It All

There is an African proverb which goes like this:

A wise man never knows all, only fools know everything.

I have mentioned before that all of us are leaders--we are all influencing someone, someplace. Because all things rise and fall on leadership, I feel we should be on an unending pursuit to learn how to be better leaders and to be better at whatever we do.

Here is a great story Zig Ziglar shared with me in a recent email:

Dr. John Maxwell of San Diego, California, says that the average person influences 10,000 people - either for good or bad - in the course of a lifetime. That means all of us are difference-makers.

Miss Amy Whittington would certainly qualify as one who directly and indirectly influenced thousands of people. At age 83 she was still teaching a Sunday school class in Sault St. Marie, Michigan. She learned that the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago was offering a seminar to teach people how to be more effective teachers. She literally saved her pennies until she had the necessary money to buy a bus ticket. She rode the bus all night to attend the seminar to learn new methods and procedures so she could do a better job.

One of the professors, impressed with her age, enthusiasm, and the fact that she had ridden the bus all night to attend the seminar, engaged her in conversation. He asked her what age group she taught and how many were in her class. When she responded that she taught a class of junior high school boys and there were 13 in the class, the professor asked how many kids belonged to the church. Miss Whittington replied, "Fifty." The professor, astonished that this little lady taught over 25% of the church youth, responded, "With that kind of record we should have you teach us how to teach." How right he was!

I hasten to add that people who are already good at what they do are far more likely to work at getting better than are those who are marginal performers. What kind of impact did Miss Amy Whittington have? Eighty-six of those boys she taught in her Sunday school class through the years ended up in the ministry. Can't you just imagine the thousands of people she directly and indirectly impacted for good? She truly was a difference-maker. You are, too, so make it a "good" difference!


Rick said...

I woulda read this post, but I already knew everything there was to know about its content.

Jim Lange said...

That's one of the things I like so much about you, that you're such a fart smeller!