Something to give you thought: If your neighbor had an accident that caused her to be immobile, would you step up to help her out? Janet Nieheisel is a neighbor who did.
Facebook has given me the great pleasure of getting to know Susan Booth, a Northern Kentucky realtor with Coldwell Banker West Shell. She is someone with such a generous heart herself who gives of herself to help others, and who brightens my days with her comments. I wanted to learn about an experience when the tables were turned and she was on the recipient end of kindness. This is what she shared.
In her own words:
“I have had many acts of kindness over the years directed towards me. One in particular occurred in October 2012 through April or so, in 2013. In October I had severely broken my left leg in a horse incident in Lexington, Ky., which required surgery, and I really couldn’t walk (on crutches, walker, or any other device), for a good seven months. It was actually, not until late August of 2013, that I could sort of walk unaided without losing my balance, etc.
During this time period, a wonderful friend and neighbor (Janet Nieheisel), would call me every Friday late afternoon before she left work, to see if I needed anything from the grocery or whatever. She did this for me until, late April, when I could get around on crutches and a walker. She wouldn’t take no for an answer, and just wanted to make sure I was alright.
I had 3 dogs to take care of as well, and no invisible fence then, which made life interesting. I also had to hire a dog walker to come twice a day and take my doggies out.
Janet has since become a very good friend, and has gone on to become a nurse (master’s degree at Christ Hospital). She said it was from having to come here and assist me!!”
Being a dog (and animal) lover and business professional, I was particularly interested when Krissi Barr (founder and CEO of Barr Corporate Success) and her husband, Dan Barr (a sales and marketing professional) shared with me at a holiday party that they were working on a book about business leadership and success…that was inspired by their dogs.
The name of their book? The Fido Factor – How To Get A Leg Up At Work.
That’s right, they want their readers to glean, we can learn a whole lot about bringing out the best in people, the best in teams, if we pay more attention to the qualities our dogs demonstrate. Dogs are great role models for Faithful, Inspirational, Determined, and Observant leaders!
The book is well thought out and easy to read and understand. It is packed with fun, anecdotal dog stories to help strengthen their points. One topic you will read about is, Greet ‘Em Like You Mean It. Krissi and Dan remind readers of the joy your arrival brings to your dog…and the joy your dog gives back to you. “Do the same at work!,” the book explains. “When co-workers come back to the office after a tough meeting with a client, show them you are genuinely happy to see them.”
Absolutely! Now that is a leadership quality that is sure to encourage drive on the job.
I asked Krissi about their dogs and their inspiration for the book. This is what she told me.
In her own words:
We love our dogs. Ever since the first Standard Poodle entered our lives—and our Mt. Lookout home—back in the 1980s, we’ve been crazy about our pooches. They vacation with us, play with us and sleep with us. Heck, if it was allowed they’d play golf with us.
Shortly after we were married, Dan and I decided to get a dog. Dan had never had a dog in his family, so we discussed what breed to get. That’s when he let me know he had allergies, so the dog couldn’t shed. This led us to getting Bruin, a black Standard Poodle.
There was nothing standard about Bruin. To this day she is still the smartest dogs we’ve ever met. Loving, caring, curious, inquisitive and with a seemingly endless interest in chasing tennis balls down the stairs. Since then we’ve had two more black Standards, a white one and a Parti Poodle who looks like a cow.
We also learned some things along our Standard Poodle journey. Our dogs inspire us with their smiles and reassure us with their loyalty. They motivate us with their determination and amaze us with their observational curiosity. As we watched them we realized that if we followed some of their examples (not all) they would help make us better people and better leaders. And that is where the inspiration for writing our latest book, The Fido Factor – How To Get A Leg Up At Work, came from.
It was before the holidays last year when I was in a room filled with men and women – some of whom began their journey toward adulthood as teenage parents. We were there to celebrate a momentous occasion – the one year anniversary for a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting young mothers and fathers through their many hurdles. Rosemary’s Babies is the brainchild of my dear friend Rosemary Ogelsby-Henry, who had her first child while still in high school and who was determined to not let her personal circumstances stand in her way of success. This is a very personal cause for Rosemary. It is why she spends just about every waking moment thinking about the impact she wants to have with her organization.
And, on that evening, we were there to applaud and support her – and all the volunteers who have helped to make that celebration possible.
Robin Nichole, family assistant specialist contractor at Kentucky National Guard Family Programs, was honored that night with the ‘A Rose Who Blossomed Through Concrete Award’. It is a recognition given to a parent who started his/her adult life as a teen parent and blossomed. It goes to someone who encompasses leadership and wears these qualities as a badge of honor: respect, honest, integrity, trustworthiness, and good citizenship.
In her introduction of Nichole, Rosemary shared, “‘At 15, the love of your family is awesome but it is your community that can be awful. Robin was ostracized, labeled, and heart and body beaten from the boy she thought she loved. Through it all her beautiful baby girl kept her. Her family supported her and her faith guided her. Robin has accomplished EVERY goal that she has set for herself. She now advocates for others (veterans) who are broken or who society claims are broken.”
Below is a portion of Robin’s acceptance speech.
In her own words:
“I was 15 and a sophomore in high school when I found out I was expecting Sydnee who is now engaged. I had two years left in high school and a dream of becoming a police officer when I became pregnant. I was involved in a teen organization, Police Explorers, where teens learn how to be police officers. I was told I was not what they wanted. My parents marched into the police chief’s office and said, ‘no, all these girls are doing it and she is just the one who got pregnant.’ I graduated high school with a two year old and when I was walking down the aisle, I heard my two year old scream, ‘Yay mommy!’ I went to college right away and everyone said I wouldn’t. They said I wouldn’t be a cop. They said I wouldn’t be anything. And I graduated college on the dean’s list. I am working on a double master’s with a 4.0. My daughter Sydnee has broken the cycle. She is marrying a great man who is serving our country. If they tell you you can’t do it, you tell them, watch me. That is the reason I had a child without an epidural -because my mom said I couldn’t do it. I truthfully could not have overcome everything without my parents. This award is not mine, it is theirs because they let me live at home home, helped with Sydnee so I could work, go to the police academy and serve on the streets. We are all trying to do the best we can. I met my husband when Sydnee was about 8 and he adopted her. She got her daddy. I am humbled and honored. Thank you to Rosemary for all you do.”
How wonderful it is when you have a career that gives you passion and purpose, that allows you to impact yourself and others in positive ways. I asked Dr. Jeffrey Blevins to share what gives him reason to look forward to his days. This is what he shared…a teacher’s inspiration.
In his own words
“One of the best things about working in higher education is helping people achieve their goals, and more importantly, help them see their own potential. Certainly, it’s a privilege to work with self-directed and industrious students. However, the real reward is working with students who are struggling, or haven’t realized what they are capable of because they have already limited themselves. Too often it seems, people are captured by some kind of fear – whether its fear of failure, fear of change, fear of the unknown, fear of rejection, or fear of something else. Helping students work past those fears and self-limitations is what I find most fulfilling as an educator. Life is too short not to put yourself out there and take your best shot.”
JEFFREY LAYNE BLEVINS, Ph.D.
associate professor & head, Department of Journalism
University of Cincinnati
I want to thank so many special people in Greater Cincinnati who are making our community better, stronger. I so enjoy having this platform for sharing some of those around me who have touched and inspired me. Thank you to them, and thank you to all of you for reading, sharing and supporting my Good Things Going Around blog.I already have many new posts in the works for 2018!