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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Building the Vision: We need to take teamwork lessons from geese

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I would like to begin this week's column by recognizing and saluting the other capital campaign here in Marshall ... the Fitzgibbon Hospital Community Cancer Center Capital Campaign.

Perhaps it would seem to be a paradox that one campaign would acknowledge the other, but that is the spirit with which both causes are being approached. In fact, many who are working very hard on one campaign are working just as hard on the other. You see, the thought is this ... BOTH are important; BOTH will help the community, its citizens, and the people of the surrounding areas; and BOTH need the impetus of many individuals in order to be realized.

It seems obvious that the necessity for each is diverse. The hospital's addition will help save lives and bring medical support to those who are ill; the Nicholas/Beazley Project will enrich the lives of ANYONE, regardless of health status. Marshall has existed without either edifice, but will be much richer for the acquisition of the two.

When you consider monetarily supporting the campaigns, think of them not as rivals, but as causes linked together by the ultimate goal of enriching lives and providing conveniences and opportunities for all.

Recently, I was a participant in presenting a seminar about soliciting fund-raising donations. In reading a vast amount of literature on the subject of solicitation, I was struck by a quote from Millard Fuller (founder of Habitat for Humanity). He observed, "I have tried raising money by asking for it, and by not asking for it. I always got more by asking for it." The reason for his statement came from this fact: People are not cheap or self-centered, as a general rule. The truth is that they often have no idea how much projects like the ones concerning Marshall cost, how the money is raised, and may simply assume that the money is coming from "somewhere."

People do not want to be thought of as ATM's. They resent being thought of as "money machines." They want to be considered as friends and supporters of a cause, who have chosen to give because they believe in a project. They are influenced by the passion and dedication for the project that they see in those who are soliciting for it.

Income is not nearly the variable that one would think: middle-class, working-class, and poor people are generous givers and account for a high percentage of the money given away. In 2002, total giving by the private sector was almost $241 billion, and 84.2 percent of that ($202 billion) was given away by individuals!

People who give want to be thanked. They want to be acknowledged for their contributions. I read that ... but I didn't have to. I know that all of us are gratified when our efforts, both monetary and of a different nature, are recognized. I can tell you definitively that all of us involved with the Civic Center/Aviation Museum project are extremely grateful for any and all help received from supporters. All of the work to put the project together has been voluntary. Many hours have been spent in planning for the building, its contents, and its capabilities ... and no one has earned a dime. It is because of the love of this community and its heritage, as well as an awareness of its needs, that all concerned have given of themselves and their time. We thank you, in advance, for your contributions ... which reflect YOUR love of this community and your dedication to making it an even better place.

In order to be successful with this project, and many other things in life, we must learn to work together. You are aware of the rallying cry for many coaches ... "There is no 'I' in TEAM." Referring once again to the reading I have done in regard to teamwork and teambuilding, I was introduced to a piece entitled, "Teambuilding Lessons We Can Learn from Geese." Having always marveled at the beauty and grace with which a flock of geese flies overhead and the expediency and precision of their progress, I found the article fascinating. I am going to share the facts about geese and their TEAMWORK with you, and as you read each fact, I ask you to consider the lesson about working with others that can be learned from each one.

As each bird flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the bird following. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds 71 percent greater flying range than if one bird flew alone.

Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone and quickly gets back to the formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.

When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies at the point position.

The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

When a goose gets sick or wounded, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help protect it. They stay with it until it is able to fly again or dies. Then they launch out on their own, with another formation, or they catch up with the flock.

I appeal to all of you to become part of the TEAM that is working so hard to bring a civic center to Marshall for ALL to use, and a museum here for ALL to celebrate Marshall's heritage and the vision of our early citizens with an entrepreneurial spirit.

Check this out ...

On July 9, 1929, the Marshall Chamber of Commerce sent the following letter to Barney Zimmerley, on the occasion of his setting the world's record:

"Dear Mr. Zimmerley,

"To you, as Marshall's own veteran aviator, on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce and the entire membership, we extend through this communication our most sincere and hearty congratulations for having brought to America and Marshall, Missouri, the world's non-stop air distance record for light planes.

You have covered yourself with glory and honor and brought fame to Marshall as well as to the designer and manufacturer of the Barling NB-3. We are proud of you for having accomplished this wonderful feat and for the contribution you have made to the development of air transportation between Canada and American cities to the Southward.

Very truly yours,
W. A. Vawter, President

The names on the letterhead are as follows:

City Directors:

W. A. Vawter

W. P. Thomas

G. G. Meador

Oscar A. Olsen

D. R. Harrison

Russell Nicholas

J. P. Huston

Geo. B. Walton

P. J. Cole

W. M. Westbrook

Thos. A. Reiman

H. B. Robinson

Geo. T. Duggins

J. P. Rose

Paul L. Ross

Rural Directors:

E. E. Elsea

A. D. Plattner

R. L. Hyatt

S. P. Houston

A. H. Orr

Louis Blosser

C. J. Irvine

S. W. Wilkinson

Scott Marshall

Building the Vision appears on Wednesday.

Building the Vision