Yesterday, I wrote part 1 of this 2 part blog about my grandmother. She was my hero. As a child, she was my best friend, and to this day she remains my mentor, teacher, role model, and the wisest person I’ve ever known. Although she died in 1980, her influence on me remains strong, and I feel her presence every day.

This is the continuation of the letter I received from her when I began my first job out of college – a high school teacher. The lessons in it are timeless, and have been foundational to my leadership development. I hope you enjoy.

My Darling:

Above all, don’t waste time in your job. It can never be replaced. Cherish and develop your many talents, but here you must select, so you don’t go galloping down any attractive indirect by-path.

When you have become adept in all the things I have mentioned, and mastered them, Don’t get complacent. Some one is sure to puncture your balloon if you do.

Cultivate professional friendships and honor those relationships with your word of honor. We all need one another, and the best way to be trusted and respected is for you to trust and respect.

 Finally, remember that I’m very proud of you. You have been very brave and faced many difficulties. And you’ve LEARNED! Everyone has difficulties. It is best to ride the punches instead of beating yourself against a stone wall. Submit when you must. Remember, as John Paul Jones intoned, “The battle is just begun.” There’s always more than one way to solve a problem.

Remember I am with you, always backing you up.



Thanks for letting me share a bit about a woman whom I cherish and love. She was wise and insightful, and the lessons she taught me have carried me through many a challenge.

If you are an ICF member, please vote in the ICF Global Board elections. The last day for voting is November 11. And if you believe I would represent you well, I hope you will cast one of your votes for me.

In gratitude,