Congratulations to the
finalists for the 2015 Glenn Shepard Leadership Award:
West Texas Food Bank
North Chicago, IL
University of Louisville
Bloomington Chamber of Commerce
Lighthouse Christian School
Back in 2009, I shared with my
readers the haunting story of something bizarre that happened at
Last week I was at that McDonald’s for the
first time in six years, and was struck by how much that event
changed my life.
I had handed the cashier $5 to pay for my breakfast and she
said, "Your bill was paid by that gentleman walking out the
He looked like a 22-year-old version of Denzel Washington.
I chased him down and asked why he did it. He explained that he
was he was shipping off to Iraq the next week, and wanted to do
something kind for a stranger before he left. I got so choked up
that all I could get out was a thank you for the sausage
biscuit, and then he was gone. As I drove away, George Strait
was on my radio singing "I Saw God Today". Chills ran down my
spine, because I knew I just did.
I’m glad I got to live
long enough to see America start to make up (a little) for the
horrible way we treated soldiers when they returned from
Vietnam, by thanking soldiers for their service today.
But talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words, and there is
no action that speaks louder than what people do with our money.
After meeting PFC Denzel, I began buying the meal of at
least one soldier every time I see one standing in line at
airport restaurants. I felt like I needed to start doing
something more than say “Thank you for your service” to all the
soldiers willing to leave their family, risk their lives, and
not get paid squat for doing it.
I quickly discovered
how much happiness can be bought for so little. The rush that
comes from it is like a shot of adrenaline.
later learned that this principle is so powerful that mental
health professionals use it to ease the symptoms of depression.
Because depression is self-focused, getting patients to do
something for someone else diverts their focus and shows an
If you have self-centered
employees working for you, challenge them to go to a fast food
restaurant and buy a meal for a stranger. Then have everyone
share their stories, and vote on the best one.
Next, recognize the winner with some form of a prize. It could
be letting them leave work an hour early, taking them to lunch,
or giving them an award certificate.
It will improve
morale and build team spirit.
To Your Success,
This will also make you look like a
better leader, because that’s exactly what you’ll be doing.
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