Tag Archives: friendship

Gratitude

21 Apr

We wrapped up the Stelos Alliance’s spring session of the Housley Principled Leadership Program yesterday on the fourth anniversary of Kevin’s death. This scheduling coincidence made the gratitude offered by the students a perfect tribute to our departed friend. The lessons learned in “Housley” memorialize a great man and set extraordinary young leaders on a learning path that will last a lifetime.

The topic of the final session is, “Service: Choice or Obligation?” This is a conversation about what we as citizens owe to our country. Is there something required beyond lawful behavior and paying taxes? Since it has now been two generations since we last had conscripted military service in the United States, even defense feels like a remote responsibility. How then do young citizens acknowledge the advantages bestowed upon them by their heritage? Is there a debt that is due to our patrimony and, if so, how and to whom should it be repaid? These are questions for us all to consider.

While we talked about the changing national ethos regarding service to country we concluded that the benefits that accrue to the giver are substantial and that systematically uniting the privilege of citizenship with responsibility is essential to preserving the long-term health of the republic. The students in the Housley program can articulate the benefits of being raised in the best country on earth. Far from being needy and narcissistic, these student leaders are prepared to dedicate themselves to serving their country and setting an example for their peers.

This is something that would make our friend, Kevin Housley, very proud. He offered himself to the community in numerous official roles and to the country in countless other capacities. He lived by the principles that we teach in the program. As the HPLP instructor and giver in this instance, I can positively proclaim that I benefit at least as much as the students. This goes well beyond the satisfaction of hearing their voiced appreciation. I learn from teaching, and it is making me a better leader. The program is both a gift from and a tribute to my good friend. It seems like yesterday that we gathered in the church to say goodbye. After four years I still miss him very much. I offer my gratitude.

Mike Versus the Mountain

6 Mar

“Was I deceiv’d, or did a sable cloud turn forth her silver lining on the night?” – Milton

It is always sunny in Mike Friedman’s world – even on a cloudy day.

My relationship with him has come full circle. Mike’s extended interview with Kalypso was a three-day ski trip in Beaver Creek. And now, five years later, we set out to conquer the Canadian Rockies on an epic heli-ski trip. Mike is an intrepid skier, but it turns out that his hamstring is no match for waist-deep powder and tree-filled 75-degree slopes. He spent the final few days in the lodge curled up with his email inbox and good(?) Canadian wine. If you expect that after three years of planning this would cause him to show some disappointment, then you do not know Mike. If “silver lining” is a metaphor for optimism and positivism, the lining of Mike’s clouds must be made of gold.

I am proud to call Mike my partner. He is the keeper of the Kalypso flame and sets the bar for what it means to be a partner. We have the great privilege of working with our closest friends every day and building lifelong relationships with our colleagues. Mike’s ski injury just means that we have to go back and do it again next year. I intend to introduce him to Vitamin I.

Read his Character with Character profile by clicking here.

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