Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Author:  Doug McCann
Forthcoming Book:  "So You're A Nice Guy and Want To Be In Business"

Doug McCann - Author - Blog - InspirationI've always been inspired by people who have made a real, positive impact in a lifetime.  Often you don't get to hear about the effort and the generosity of such people because they secretly go about doing good deeds.  A humble individual works to improve a situation, helps raise money for a cause, spends time with lonely, elderly people, volunteers with organizations such as Meals On Wheels, community service groups, and perhaps fundraising.  There are those who champion for causes fighting to reduce poverty, discrimination and other injustices.  Some of the most wealthy and well-known people in this world secretly 'pay it forward'.  The public at large often only hear of such great deeds and inspiration when these people are honoured at special ceremonies or posthumously at funerals and memorials.

We get caught up in the rhetoric of criticism of our political leaders who are judged by their actions or inactions, compared to standards which are always changing, and particular agendas, party partisan affiliation notwithstanding, that we often forget that these leaders are human beings, like each and everyone of us.  I recall the tributes, memorials and dedications that poured in when Canada's former Minister of Finance, Jim Flaherty passed away in April of 2014.  He was one of the longest-serving Ministers of Finance in Canada having served from February of 2006 until his resignation in March of 2014.  Who knew, with the exception of his family, those closest to him, and those who were the recipients of his generosity that he was the kind of man who would be remembered for all the right reasons.  We, the public at large would get to know the real personal side of Jim and realize how rich and precious is his legacy.

You don't have to look on the national and international stages for those who have been an inspiration.  How often have we attended a funeral and thought we knew the deceased fairly well?  To go and hear a loving and sincere eulogy and to be pleasantly surprised at how many lives were affected and touched by this one person is heartening, comforting and reassuring.  The love, support and sacrifice the deceased had made for his family and friends, the good deeds done in the community, the countless number of volunteer hours on different jobs and projects is motivating.

I have had the opportunity to attend several Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies, held annually at the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame in Parry Sound.  Each year individuals are celebrated for their contribution to sport and community.  Each inductee is presented on stage with a bio-like video tribute.  It's in the heart of these tributes we learn of the humble beginnings of these individuals, their failures and their successes, and always about their spirit and determination.  Along the way and at the top, these people have made such a difference in the lives of individuals and in our communities.  Where would we have been without these unsung heroes?

Examining my own ambitions, who then, and how, will I inspire even one fellow human being?  And, who will you inspire?  What would be our own individual legacies?  Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well."  It is hard to imagine that anyone who would sincerely live up to such a standard described by Emerson would not be an inspiration to family and community!  Not everyone has to be a Ralph Waldo Emerson, Winston Churchill or Martin Luther King to make a difference.  Everyday people exercise what it takes - that magic word, 'integrity'.  They uphold their values and standards by setting an example in their everyday life. The late Robert H. Schuller said, "Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed."  One can never know what good deed or positive influence can touch any number of lives.  This is a big part of why I had such a strong passion for the Big Brothers and Sisters movement.  For those who volunteer as coaches, leaders in Guides and Scouts, people who give of their time in soup kitchens or help out in nursing homes can take joy in knowing the honour and privilege of not only serving but that these contributions often have a rippling effect far beyond.

My forthcoming book, "So You're A Nice Guy and Want To Be In Business", will provide some personal stories of those who found a way to balance diplomacy with customer needs and expectations.  Managing the degree of competition, customer demand, bad accounts, dynamics between employer and employee and between employees, I believe the successful entrepreneur is one who finds that balance and confidently executes the kind of interpersonal relationships which garner respect and mentorship.

I welcome your feedback and thank you for your time and interest!