The Population of the Unique

2019-2-26 Diane podcast picIf you’re like me, you occasionally host your own pity party. “Why is this happening to me?”; “Why can’t I do what I want?”

Last week I interviewed Diane Nutz who, for more than 2 decades, has cared for individuals who have far more right to complain than I do. We may define these people as “handicapped” or “disabled”; Diane refers to them as “the population of the unique”.

It was at a high school football game in the 1960’s when Diane encountered “Carol” who wanted to be a cheerleader. Diane encouraged, “You can be anything you want to be…”

Carol replied, “My dad says I can’t because I’m retarded.”

Years later, Diane found herself substituting in the special education department of the school system. One day she was asked if she’d work with handicapped students. She said, “yes.”

Twenty plus years since then, Diane continues to serve the population of the unique because of what she’s gained:

  • Being of service
  • Becoming a better person
  • Identifying blessings in her life
  • Filling a need

Diane’s job requires physical strength and stamina. Especially when caring for disabled quadruplets from infancy. Her routine includes tube feeding, dressing them, changing diapers, etc. All before the bus comes in the morning!

Cory, a young boy with autism learned to call her “Diane says…” as a result of repeated reasoning with the reluctant youth. However, the verbalization of her new-found name warmed Diane’s heart.

That story, and others are told in my interview with Diane, which is published in my latest podcast.

Listen to “The Population of the Unique” on Spreaker.

We all have gifts, and Diane is thankful for the gifts she has both given and received from the population of the unique. No more pity party’s for me! Instead, I’ll look for the gifts, too.

Get Diane’s book here : Look IN Me: A Life Shaped by the Most Overlooked

The Principal Perspective

 

2019-2-20 Sam

Recently, I interviewed 9-year old Sam for my podcast. I am amazed at the wisdom he shared, and his personal perspective of leadership. I asked Sam what he’d say if everyone in the world came into his living room, and demanded him to “tell us something!”

Sam, without hesitation announced, “get outta my house…” I was about to laugh at Sam’s humor, when he continued, “…and go be with your family members!”

Proudly, Sam described his family members as “nice” and “great”. “I love them.” Answering my question about how he helps his siblings, Sam replied:

  • “When they fall, I help them up.”
  • “I help my brother play Minecraft.”

I was shocked to learn that most boys Sam’s age don’t play Minecraft any more, they play Fortnite. Sam had only played Fortnite once, and didn’t seem impressed. With wisdom beyond his years, he observed, “{Fortnite} is taking over people’s lives!”

Making mention of school bullies, which seem normal for any school, Sam related an incident where he was bolstered by another student rather than bullied. “I was hit by a basketball, and got knocked down. An older kid came over and helped me up.”

Insightfully, Sam described those who were leaders in his life: parents, teachers, and his school principal. “When we’re playing foursquare, the principal volunteers to be the coach. He’s at the top, and he’s really good at it.”

Unfortunately, there are some kids at Sam’s school who like to take over the foursquare game so others can’t play. He describes how the principal will enforce the rules, and makes sure everyone is included in the game.

Sam was impressed with how the school principal will often teach a class, or monitor recess for a teacher simply out of kindness. “He not only gives us a break from bullies, but he gives the teachers a break from us kids. He’s a good guy.”

Sam has been awarded for being an exceptional “line leader.” Evidently, this is someone who leads orderly lines of students to lunch, recess, or on other occasions. “The line leader has to be a good example so everyone keeps the rules.”

I was sincerely impressed with Sam’s ability to identify characteristics of leadership :

  • Love for family
  • Helping others up
  • Teaching others
  • Honesty
  • Enforcement of rules
  • Service
  • Kindness
  • Being an example

When I gave Sam one last opportunity to share a word of wisdom, he said, “Be Selfless.” Sam gets it. He’ll have a long, successful life in leadership. He understands the principal perspective.

Listen to “The Principal Perspective” on Spreaker.

 

Music and Leadership: The Common Chord

I’ve become a podcaster. The Speak | Feed | Lead Podcast with Jackie Bailey will soon be well-known. My goal is to help others speak with power; feed others in word and deed; and lead with positive influence. Thus, Speak | Feed | Lead.

February 2019 in Seattle has seen record breaking snow amounts.  Upon becoming stranded at home for several days, my husband agreed to be my first podcast interview.

Arny Bailey musician

Arny Bailey is a long-time musician. (We’ve been married 36 years and he’s been in at least one band “family” our whole marriage). He is the founder of, or participates in the following tribute bands and productions:

Borrowed Time – The Music of STYX

Wings N Things – A Tribute to Paul McCartney

Just One Look – A Tribute to Linda Ronstadt

Third Stage – A Tribute to Boston

Kings of Hollywood: Tribute to The Eagles

The Tribute Time Machine, Starring Pat Cashman

I asked Arny about his experience with bands, and how it relates to leadership – specifically speaking, feeding, and leading.

The following gems from Arny Bailey are yours to consume…

Speak:

  1. Be authentic. “Your message is WHO you are; not WHAT you’re doing.” If that wasn’t already inspiring enough, Arny made this remark in regard to the drive musicians have to make music, “It’s impossible to ask ‘WHY am I doing this?’ when it’s WHO you are; it’s easy to ask ‘WHY am I doing this?’ when it’s simply WHAT you’re doing.”
  2. Be aware of your own voice, and deliver your message the best you can.”
  3. Viewing his vocal talent as a gift from God, Arny voiced his belief that sharing his talent is not a choice. “{Singing} is more me than almost anything else I do.”
  4. You can’t just sing the words. A powerful message comes from the emotions you convey.”
  5. Connect emotionally with the audience and take them back to the pivotal moments of life.”

Feed:

  1. Arny is well-versed in guitar, bass guitar, percussion, and keyboards. However, he asserts, “My main instrument is my voice.”
  2. Speaking of the early years of frustration when he thought he was “a guitarist who could sing“; he recalled the clarity he felt upon realizing he was “a vocalist who could play guitar“.
  3. Music was a positive influence throughout his childhood, with instruments at his disposal waiting to be played.
  4. Moving from tribute bands to producing The Tribute Time Machine, a stage production, Arny taught my podcast audience to be open to inspiration, and “become immersed in your obsessions
  5. While discussing The Tribute Time Machine show, Arny expressed his purpose: “To sit them down (the audience) in a theater and give them a nostalgic, feel good experience.”

Lead:

  1. Work within a structure“. The common thread in building a band: “Music
  2. Find the right talent and put him/her in the right role
  3. Respect the role each player has, and don’t step on, or over, each other
  4. Arny defined the role of entrepreneur in a band setting: “He’s not only in the band, but he takes control of the success of the band. He makes things happen.”
  5. Another role he defined was the three musketeers: “they act on chance and opportunity, rather than look for, or create opportunity.”

It was fun to interview my husband, and I learned far more than expected about the common chord between music and leadership. Some outstanding words mentioned relevant to both categories are:

  • Desire
  • Drive
  • Purpose
  • Authenticity
  • Emotion

Speak | Feed | Leadno matter WHO you are or WHAT you’re doing, you can speak with power, feed others in word and deed, and lead with positive influence.

For the full interview with Arny Bailey, listen to my Speak | Feed | Lead podcast by clicking here. Speak | Feed | Lead with Jackie Bailey