Gratitude Inspires Attitude
What has been most gratifying and unexpected about Leaders Open Doors is the positive twofold impact it often has on people. First, it gets people thinking about the leaders who have made a difference in their lives. A number of people have told me that the book inspired them to seek out their open-door leaders just to say “thank you.”
The second impact is equally, and perhaps even more, important. After refl on the open-door leaders in their lives, readers then start to consider what kind of leader they are being. Many resolve to take a more active interest in supporting and advancing the careers of those they lead, and end up becoming better leaders in the process. One's leadership legacy isn't forged by having sharp elbows of ambition, but by offering caring hands to help lighten the load of others. When you do right by others, they'll do right by you.
Leaders Open Doors, Opens Doors
When I completed the first manuscript for this book, something seemed to be missing. I had said everything I wanted to say, but somehow the book felt incomplete. In the same way that it now causes people to refl on the kind of leader they are being, the book had made me realize that for too much of my life I had been focused on me. So, I decided that writing a book about serving and empowering others without personally doing the same would be incongruent. I realized that the best way for Leaders Open Doors to embody its own message would be to use it to open doors for others in a tangible and literal sense. So, I decided to donate 100 percent of the royalties that I received to charities that support children with special needs. It is a cause that is very personal for me. I have a daughter who has cerebral palsy and is deaf. She has taught me more about
patience, courage, gratitude, and just plain goodness than anyone I have ever known.
Within six months of the book's initial release, I was able to make a sizable donation to the Irene Wortham Center, a charity serving severely disabled Americans in Asheville, North Carolina, as well as smaller donations to Camp Courage, which provides recreational opportunities for people with disabilities, and the March of Dimes, which is dedicated to preventing premature births—a major cause of disabilities. For the first time since its founding over a decade ago, Giant Leap Consulting donated more to charity than it made in profits. I am grateful that Leaders Open Doors is doing what it set out to do: open doors of opportunity for others.
The book has taught me that good things come back to you when you stop focusing on yourself and start focusing on empowering others. In the short time since the book was released I have been invited to speak at high profile conferences and events, I have been befriended by numerous renowned leadership thinkers, and I have met three astronauts. Just this past week I got invited to attend spring training for a Major League Baseball team—the general manager is kicking off the season by giving the team and staff a copy of the book. More importantly, I have had the privilege to hear countless stories about extraordinary leaders by everyday people like Clarence. Donating my royalties to charity has proven to be very enriching!
Something else has happened since Leaders Open Doors was originally released, too. This edition has a new publisher, ASTD Press, which is the publishing arm of The American Society for Training & Development. They view the book as a terrific leadership training vehicle, and are fully committed to giving it a bigger platform. As one of the top leadership training organizations in the world, ASTD will be able to introduce Leaders Open Doors to more aspiring leaders. How cool is that?