Streamline - Fall 2013 - (Page 39)

ThrowingMyLoop BY MICHAEL JOHNSON Leadership? WHAT IS THAT? At a recent conference this year, instead of “telling” the participants about leadership, I asked them to tell me about it – to share an experience when a “leader” came into their lives. Leadership…what does that mean? At one time, I knew. I knew all about it. But like Bob Dylan said in a song once, “I was so much older then.” Years ago – in the eighties – I taught in a graduate engineering program conducted jointly by the Department of Defense and Texas A&M University. One of my subjects was leadership, and I thought I did a good job. My lectures included such topics as inventory, profit and loss, delegation, planning, organizing, decision making and more. I thought my words, lesson plans and tests had value. It comes to me now that I should send all those students their money back. I never taught them anything about leadership at all. Fast forward with me 25 years. At a recent conference this year, instead of “telling” the participants about leadership, I asked them to tell me about it – to share an experience when a “leader” came into their lives. For fun, I offered 10 bucks to anyone who would share their story about when someone made them better – when someone made them more. The first hand that went up belonged to young man sitting on the front row. He was about 30 or so – a nice looking fellow with the body of an athlete. “When I was seventeen,” he began, “I went to Yellowstone to work for the summer. The boss I was assigned to didn’t like me from the first moment he saw me. I didn’t know why, but I just knew…this fellow didn’t like me at all.” Sure enough, the young man’s intuition proved correct. The boss yelled at him on the first day, cursed him on the second, wrote him up twice on the third, and reported him to the park rangers three times by the end of the first week. “I spent a miserable weekend full of dread,” he said. “I arrived early at the work site that following Monday morning, knowing I would be fired, but to my surprise, there was someone else already there. An old cowboy stood waiting…and he was waiting on me. He said, ‘You’ll be with me from now on.’ ” And the young man telling the story paused. We knew he was fighting emotion. “We spent the rest of the summer in that beautiful place,” he said. “The old fellow didn’t say much. When he told me to do something, he might say I did okay, and if I didn’t, he would show me how to fix my mistake. I was just a kid, but he didn’t treat me like one. He asked www.vrwa.org 39 http://www.vrwa.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Fall 2013

From the President
From the Executive Director
Acronyms – Today’s Language
Drought or Flood?
Can Changing Your Plant Lighting Save You Money?
Source Water Protection Notes
Aging and Failing Infrastructure
Time for Some R&R
EXPO Coverage and Recap
Ergs, Joules and Other Stuff
Wastewater Math
Throwing My Loop
eLearning Benefi ts
Membership Application
Do You Know What Your VRWA Benefi ts Are
Welcome New Members
VRWA Mailbag
Board of Directors
VRWA Committees
Index to Advertisers/Ad.com

Streamline - Fall 2013

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