Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Evergreen Leaders Drill Down 5

I'm still trying to drill deep enough to find simple words to describe what EGL is trying to achieve. Every business and nonprofit exists to make life better for somebody. Whose lives is EGL trying to make better? What will happen when lives are been touched by EGL?

I'm looking for a way to describe EGL's mission so that excitement flows like an artesian well for all connected with EGL.

Here's another version:

EGL helps
• companies (nonprofit and for profit) that employ service people for $12 an hour or less
• to be great workplaces and to transform the lives of service recipients
• at a cost comparable to national firms providing management seminars to small businesses and nonprofits.

Now I think I am really close to pay dirt.

Talents and laughter

Among Rick Reha's talents is eclectic reading--science fiction, theology, art history, music instrument making publications, and much more.

Talent, according to the Gallup Organization research, is "a recurring pattern of thought, feeling or behavior that can be productively applied."

Here's how Rick recently applied his talent for reading. He recently read Holy Humor by Cal Samra. He passed the book along to Jim Fitz.

Jim, when he's not traveling as part of his peace-making ministry stays three night's a week with Jim and Donna Harnish, Plow Creek's most senior members. He brought ''Holy Humor'' with him to Harnishes'. He leaves the book there and each evening he stays with the Harnishes he reads to Jim.

Fitz has a talent for connecting with people. "It's more fun reading a humor book with someone. When I read the book to Jim he often has funny stories to tell," he says.

Getting old gracefully is not for the faint of heart. Donna had a stroke seven or eight years ago and has not been able to speak or walk since. Jim and others at Plow Creek have faithfully cared for her since her stroke. Now Jim H.'s health has deteriorated to the point where he can no longer drive and he mostly uses a wheelchair to get around their apartment.

Still he's a great conversationalist. He enjoys discussing the politics of hope for the poor, telling stories, and laughing at the occasional absurdity of life.

When I'm old and can't get out and about I'm looking forward to people sharing talents, moments of absurdity, and laughter with me.