Anna Thomas Young – Entry 4


Below is the closing paragraph of an email that Anna sent to Texas Tech administrators on March 12 of this year informing them of her need for a leave of absence while she goes to M.D. Anderson for a bone marrow transplant.

“Although my odds of having a successful bone marrow transplant for a second time with my blood disease (odds are only 20-30% and this is the final treatment option), I want and will continue to work for NWI, to finish the last two chapters of my dissertation, and to spread some of the light and love that I was taught at TTU. Most importantly – I want to be able to hold my head up high knowing that I did the very best I could in this life. Thank you for being a part of it. I appreciate each and every one of you and look forward to coming back at full speed! With my most humble and grateful appreciation,”

Anna T. Young

Anna’s odds are not excellent. Her attitude is. She has work left to be done as you can see.

Regardless of what our odds are or what our work that is left to be done may be, shouldn’t we all say that I “want to be able to hold my head up high knowing that I did the very best I could in this life”?

David Miller Initials


The harder I work…

…the luckier I get. My father-in-law used to say that when people would say, “Linc, you sure are lucky!”  He didn’t disagree that he was, indeed, fortunate. But, he also stressed the fact that he made at least a part of that luck through his industriousness.

I co-facilitated a leadership institute yesterday with Dr. Juan Munoz at Texas Tech. He did a fantastic job of teaching and inspiring the attendees.  I learned a great deal from him. His subject matter centered primarily around “executive learning”. He emphasized that much of that learning came from the pro-active, intentional, hard work that leaders must do to be…well, lucky.

In other words, planning (dreaming big dreams) AND execution (working hard) are needed to be both successful and significant. As Thomas Edison said, “Vision without execution is delusion”.

The leadership lesson for today? Work hard…get lucky.

David Miller Initials

August 22, 2014- Leadership and the 12 Steps – Step 1

Step 1 of the AA 12 Steps Program:  We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.*

By the grace of God I am not an alcoholic nor am I addicted to another substance. But, oh how I feel powerless over other things. My calendar; my frustration; my procrastination; my perfectionism; my desire to control; my pride. (I think I’ll stop there, thank you very much.)

And there are days in my life that do become unmanageable…hurrying from one meeting to another; plowing through another long list of emails; missing a grandson’s baseball game or a granddaughter’s recital; going too long without having dinner with my mother or sisters.

So what’s a person to do? Where do I turn for help? How do I get out of this mess that I have created? What’s next?

The answer is to let go and unlearn. All mature leaders learn to let go and unlearn. Did you get that? Leadership is more about giving up rather than gathering more (title, authority, position, power, control, perfection). This is what the first step requires, yet it is probably the hardest step of all…the one that is denied and avoided and put off until “later”. **

Why is that? Because we hate change more than anything else (whether we admit it to ourselves or not)…even when what we are doing is broken and doesn’t work. Instead, we keep on doing what we’ve always done…and, as a result, we keep on getting what we’ve always gotten. The same old things.**

Next time we will look at what it will take for you to let go and unlearn. Ugh! Painful!

David Miller Initials

* Copyright 1942, 1953, 1981 by Alcoholics Anonymous Publishing (now known as Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.)

** Concepts in these paragraphs are from Richard Rohr’s book Breathing Under Water