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Success Newsletters

Vol 12, Number 3 March 2012

In this Edition

1.  The Courage to Stand Up
2.  Monthly Inspirational Quote
3.  Recommended Reading

The Courage to Stand Up

As many of you, who have followed me for a while or have heard me speak will know, I spent the majority of the first 30 years of my life with a stutter, or stammer as it is called in the UK where I grew up, that had a major impact on my ability to communicate. Words did not come easily for me. For this reason, you will understand why this story resonated with me.

In October 2011, the New York Times ran a story about a young man named Philip, who was attending college in Randolph, N.J. The story tells of the young, enthusiastic student who was eager to answer a question in class, and raised his hand. For most of the 75 minutes of the class, he kept his hand up, only to be ignored by the teacher. Why? Philip had a stutter.

In fact, early in the semester, the teacher had sent an email asking him not to participate in class, and to communicate with her via email before and after the class if he had any questions!!

As this became front and center at the college, several of his classmates spoke about the relevance of his comments in class and how this added to their learning. Yes, it took him longer to get the point across, but so what.

In addition to putting his hand up in class and holding it there for 75 minutes, he chose to bring it to the attention of the college dean. The Dean’s solution was to put him into a new class, where he has been able to contribute actively. To me, this is passing the buck, not addressing the issue. But that’s a whole other topic for another day.

This story gives me reason to pause on more fronts than just the stuttering front.

  1. How often do we miss the opportunity to learn something because the person sharing the lesson takes a bit more effort to listen to?
  2. How often do we judge people because they do not fit into a “norm” we understand or have learned about and dismiss them and their opinion?
  3. How often do we squelch potential because embracing it and developing it takes energy and patience?

Anecdotally, I had the opportunity to meet Philip before this college experience. Several years ago I was asked to participate in a forum the National Stuttering Association were having at their annual conference. Philip, back then, was a confident 14 year old young man who manned a camera and acted as official videographer at the conference with his jazzy hats.

I remember speaking to Philip and his mother, and what stood out for me was that although he had a very visible stutter at that time, it did not stop him from wanting to communicate and lead a normal life. When I was growing up with my stuttering I did not have half the courage and confidence this young man had.

To Philip Gerber Jnr, I admire you for sticking to your principles and rights, for bringing the very misunderstood and uncomfortable subject of stuttering for many people,to the forefront. My hat is off to you young man. You will go far in life with that attitude and courage.!!!!!
______________________________________________________________________ MONTHLY INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE

“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected”
Steve Jobs


The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and business  by Charles Duhigg

A fascinating read on our habits. The author’s research and terrific stories reveal how habits are part of us and shape our lives. The book is complex in parts, but stay with it as it really brings to light an important aspect of our own success. The author is certainly an expert on his topic and I will find myself using this book not only as a research tool but to take a look at my own life. It has been said once you have read this book you will never look at yourself, your organization or your world quite the same. I would not disagree with that statement one bit.

Date Added: April 15, 2012 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Newsletters

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