Dear Difference Maker,
Since we first launched the Acknowledgment Movie with Helice Bridges, the creator of the Acknowledgment Ceremony, we have received so many wonderful stories, one of which I want to share with you today. It came to us from a man who prefers to simply be known as Stan H.
In the face of any adversity, if we can find a nugget of something to acknowledge about one another, the dynamics can change quickly, if not in an instant.
Please take a just a few minutes to watch how quick and easy this is …
Plus, I hope you love today’s story as much as I do. For me it makes life a daily adventure!
If you need to advance your career, your credibility, your relationship stability… give it a try. Give a minimum of 3 people a day your acknowledgment of them and the difference they make and see what happens!
I think YOU are great …so get out there and keep shining your light!
Reaching out …
Unexpected Impact at 35,000 Feet
Excerpt from Make A Difference UTRAIN® Program
I went to sleep last night embracing and recalling the various Acknowledgment opportunities in my life. This one comes to mind because business is not always business as we would perceive it to be. I sat in my seat on a cross-country flight. As always, I was buried deep in my work in order to distract myself from the boring drone of the engines and to take me mentally away from the mundane nature of yet another airplane trip.
Moreover, the distinction within me, that such a conversation was an exception and not the rule. I was moved by the love in the fathers voice and the excitement in the voice of his son as they shared and exchanged the learning opportunity of this travel experience. I buried myself in my work and continued to my destination.
The conference that weekend was wonderful, and I found it necessary to cancel my return flight and spend an extra night providing mentoring for one of the conference participants. Monday morning found me once again settling in, preparing for yet another cross country flight to my next conference.
As I placed my bag in the overhead compartment I glanced behind me and low and behold, a few rows back sat the same father and son duo. At that point I experienced that inner twinge, that prompt of the innate, that this was not just a coincidental happenstance.
Once airborne and in a position to “move about the cabin” I took three Blue Wristbands from my briefcase and moved from my seat and introduced myself to the father and his son.
I explained how I had been sitting in front of them on the previous Thursday and how moved I was by the love and obvious connectivity between a father and a son.
I acknowledged the father for his attentive and loving leadership and dedication to his son. I then presented him with a Blue Wristband and gave him two more and encouraged him to pass on this acknowledgement to two others who made a difference in his life. A part of me wanted to acknowledge his son as well, yet that inner prompting within, told me no.
I returned to my seat and hunkered down for the remainder of the flight. A few minutes later I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder. I looked up from my laptop to see the brimming face of the young boy whose father I had acknowledged. He stood there before me wearing a Blue Wristband placed proudly on his wrist. His eyes were moist yet the beam on his face told me that the moisture was representative of an expression of joy and happiness.
“Mr.” he asked, “do you have any more of those Blue Wristbands? You see, my dad told me how much he loved me and how proud he is of me. He told me how brave I am and how much I mean to him and how my being with him has made him strong. Then he gave me this Blue Wristband.” He pointed proudly to his Blue Wristband. “Then he gave me the other Wristband,” he said, “and told me to give it to someone who has made a difference in my life.”
“Well Mr.” he continued, “you see back there in the seats in front of my dad, the lady and the girl next to her? That’s my mom and my sister. You see, a while back my dad and my mom decided to separate and were thinking about getting a divorce. My mom and sister went to live with my grandma and grandpa and me and my dad stayed back home. We came out here last week to ask my mom to come home and see if we can make our family ‘work’ again. They said yes, and now we are going back home together as a family. You see Mr., I only have one Blue Wristband left to give away. I can’t decide if I should give it to my mom or my sister. I missed them so much, and I’m so happy that they are coming back home with us. I sure would like to give them both a Blue Wristband. Do you have one more?”
I could hardly contain my tears. I reached into my briefcase and took out the remainder of the package of 100 Blue Wristbands I had with me. I handed them to the young man and asked him to make sure to spread his love to all those who made a difference to him. He graciously accepted these wristbands and returned to acknowledge his mother and sister.
A little while later as I glanced up from my work, I noticed the flight attendant moving past me, with a Blue Wristband placed on her wrist and, protruding from the pocket of her uniform vest, two more Blue Wristbands. I knew then that the rest of the wristbands were in good hands. As I turned around to find the young boy, I discovered him sitting between his father and his mother and his little sister sitting on daddy’s lap. All of them were wearing Blue Wristbands. As our eyes met, there was a most loving and gracious nod of love and appreciation.
The enigmatic nature of this simple Blue Wristband, once again promoting love and all that is pure and wonderful. At that point I realized that the success of the conference wasn’t the only business planned for this trip. Was it Serendipity, Synchronicity, Coincidence? All three? You decide!
Only You Can Make This Happen!
Excerpt from Make A Difference Power of Acknowledgment UTrain Curriculum
I’m not the only person who struggles with this. Whether it be in Business, Education, Organization or Church leadership I’ve coached gifted people in leadership positions over the years and the one area where many of them miss the mark of what’s truly possible is inadvertently being afraid of their people. That instead of making the decision to go forward with what they know will be best and just do it as the Nike slogan says, they acquiesce.
Here we are. I don’t know about you, but I don’t even want to turn the TV on at the end of the day. As you well know, things are reaching an epic proportion: violence, drug addiction, suicide etc. Hurting others and ourselves all because we are not hammering the fundamentals of creating deep, meaningful and emotionally uplifting connections within our communities.
I’m going to be honest with you. I’ve talked with many a leader who is excited about my Make A Difference Power of Acknowledgment UTrain Program. They know they need to put an end to the energy robbing undercurrents among certain factions of their staff because they know just how much this negativity can trickle down throughout an entire organization and therefore generate more of the same.
Their excitement and complete understanding of what positive change it will bring inspires me. I can already see through their eyes what an enormous difference they are going to be making throughout their entire organization with this program.
And then they say, “Of course, I will need to take this to my top tier team and get their buy in before investing and moving forward with the logistics.”
So you know what happens next. I am told that their top tier team thought it was going to be too much additional work to their already maxed out work load and they were going to pass for now. Translation: change must be hard so let’s keep doing the same thing expecting different results.
This is a truly a defining moment for any leader in the face of resistance …
I’m very curious and so I ask, “Did you enthusiastically share with them how taking this program in bite size – doable pieces – will create a deep meaningful sense of community for them to work in and actually save them time? Did you take them through step by step how getting the social emotional issues and unnecessary drama dissolved once and for all will get them 5-10xs the energy and productivity that they are currently losing now?”
“Is there any way you can make an executive decision and … just do it?”
Now, you can take my ideas and create your own program which will cost you a lot of time and energy that you could be putting toward the other demands coming at you at this time of year OR you can grab a cup of coffee, sit back and relax. I’ve got this covered. I’ve done all of the heavy lifting for you.
Leaning Into Challenging Times
Mary Robinson Reynolds’ ‘I Make A Difference’ Wristbands and Stickers were a very powerful and meaningful way for us to express our gratitude for their contributions. The process had amazing results in people’s attitudes.”
– Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder & Chairman of BNI, Business Networking International, as well as a New York Times best-selling author.
“I got the stickers – the Acknowledgment Movie and the stickers were a HUGE hit today! Yeah! Thanks.”
– Suzanne Steele, Balanced Wellness, LLC
“I learned something the other day …. the word ‘listen’ when you change the letters spells ‘silent’. Thank you.”
– Terri Stanganelli
“Thank you for doing what you are doing. You do make a difference. A box of Kleenex isn’t enough. Your movies are so moving, they touched my heart and opened my eyes. In a world of ‘what more can I get’ I see the greater value in ‘what can I give’ . I have two young girls who will each receive a letter of acknowledgement and appreciation when they get home from school today. Thank you for inspiring me to inspire them.”
– Barb Moxsom Cartoonist/Playwright/Author
“Thank you for this encouragement. Yesterday was a very hard day filled with hopelessness. I am holding on and have to have internal fight to get through all of what I am facing. Your movie gave me hope, something to hang onto. I will be watching this through the day when the hopelessness returns. Thank you Mary, you made a difference today in my life.”
– Catherine Renee, Owner, Custom Hair By Catherine
Is today the day that you just own it and get out there and just do it?
Master’s in Educational Psychology Counseling and Development K-12 from the University of Nebraska; demonstrated expertise with every imaginable label awarded childhood behaviors, physical attributes and learning styles. She parlayed her phenomenal success with at-risk youth into Continuing Education Courses for Portland State University on how to be energetically effective educators. For the past two decades, she has taken her exceptional programs to educational professionals, business leaders, entrepreneurs, corporate managers and administrative assistants conducting training and consulting on how to be effective in creating improvement in their organizations through the power of Team Synergy.
PPS … Let’s not forget that if you have been feeling like there’s something more that you want to do, you can take this program beyond where you currently work by becoming a Certified Make A Difference Facilitator. For those who feel the pull to make a difference and a living at this, I will give you 1:1 time every step a long the way.
Heart Productions & Publishing, Greater Boston Area