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Friday, August 01, 2008

Lipstick Leadership: "Igniting the Spark of Leadership" - Chris Brown's Story!

"My mom was my Brownie leader. She organized the crafts. She volunteered to pick up the patches at the scout shop. She still isn't much of a singer, but she taught us all those special Brownie songs. She helped us recite the Brownie promise at the close of each meeting. She got all of us girls to really believe in ourselves that when we chanted the phrase, "Twist me and turn me and show me the elf, I looked in the water and saw...myself!" When we glanced down at the pine branches laid around the mirror, we really were transformed into someone who can do anything. She gave us the confidence to try new things and make a difference. And over the years, our troop did. We cleaned up the overgrown corner lot in our town, throwing away trash, trimming back all the weeds and planting petunias. We visited the shut-ins in the nursing home. We camped in the woods and cooked on Buddy Burners made of 3 lb. coffee cans and tuna cans with cardboard and wax.

As we grew from Brownies to Juniors to Cadettes, so did our activities. We traveled to the capital. We helped organize events for the younger scouts. We saw plays. We earned badges. We took photos and cemented friendships. We created scavenger hunts for the younger scouts with watermelons as the prize at the end. We learned leadership skills like mentoring, planning, encouraging and collaborating.

My mom volunteered hundreds of hours to the girls in our troop. She taught us leadership by letting us try it on one step at a time. And now, many years later, if you surveyed those dozen girls, you'll find women who have grown up to become leaders in a wide variety of roles including business, government and health care (and scouts, too). And now we are passing it on to the next generation.

Thanks Mom, for igniting the spark of leadership in all of us!

- Chris Brown

For more of "Mom's Wisdom" to apply in your workplace for success, check out my new book "From the Kitchen to the Corner Office: Mom's Wisdom on Leadership" available in local bookstores and online at BarnesAndNoble.com!

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