Friday, March 20, 2009


I was thinking about writing a post about great leadership and what makes a great leader but instead I am writing a post on my Heroes: People that I admire and just happen to be great leaders in their own rite.

The first hero of my is my grandfather (now deceased), one of the original scout masters of Troop 1002. He was a Freemason and was heavily involved with his church. He was a candy maker, car mechanic, and a foreman where they made construction cranes. When my grandfather retired he took on a job in the quality control lab at Gold Bond Mfg. where they made almost all of the ice cream bars available on the open market (or so it seemed to me at the time).

My grandfather taught me that if your really want to do something and set your mind to it that anything can be accomplished.

He was a Renaissance man before anyone else was a Renaissance man.

He could cook, do the wash, fix cars, take scouts on camp outs, was a ceramicist, magician, electrician, musician, and philosopher.

Some other heroes of mine were Bart Starr, Ray Nitchke, and Jerry Kramer all great football players when I was a lad.

I remember these players for what they did on and off the field.

I had the luxury to frequent a local drug store with a food counter that was well known for their fresh baked pies and it was 4 or 4 blocks away from where the Packers had their players meetings and after the meetings they would stop in for a piece of pie.

Bart Starr did a lot for the city of Green Bay as well as Ray and Jerry.

They always took time to talk with kids and were very polite even when they'd get beat by the Bears (which didn't happen too often).

Ray was especially my hero as I remember several times that he would take his family out to eat after a football game and would take time to pray over the meals that they ordered. He never forgot to thank the man upstairs.

Jerry Kramer was another that lead by example through his actions and never once, that I can ever remember, patted himself on the back.

Some others were my first Cubmaster and Scoutmaster although they really didn't do anything monumental or very stellar. But they gave me encouragement to see things through.

My mom was a hero of mine as she was always there and had a genuine interest in everything that my 2 sisters and me did. She was also very active in Job's Daughters, White Shrine, Boy Scouts, Music Parents, and a Girl Scout Leader.

Jerry Tilton, is a hero of mine serving his 73rd consecutive yr. in Scouting.

He is the ultimate scout, earned his Eagle Rank, served the program as a professional and when he retired, he stayed in the program as a volunteer. He is in his 80's and he makes all of the awards and plaques for the District awards and until recently he was the chairperson for Mom and Son camp.

Jerry has the passion to be with the scouts and I think he really is Peter Pan and has never refused to grow up.

I expect that one of Jerry's heroes would be Will Rogers he Jerry has yet to meet someone that he doesn't like either. He treats all with respect and as a friend. He is willing to give his shirt off his back for someone in need although I am not entirely sure he'd part with his uniform (an original classic that is in impeccable condition).

Jerry is quiet and unassuming and he looks like he could have stepped out of a Norman Rockwell painting he has a modernistic thinking that is very pro youth.

He promotes the value of an education and will support anything and everything good in this world.

He is the ultimate scouter. Someone's footsteps I hope to follow when I get to be 80.

I see and hear scouts talking about great athletes and how they wish to be like them but so many today are being found cheating the system with drug and steroid abuse, involved in crime, or are found doing things that would never be socially acceptable. Most of these people try to call attention to themselves and are the biggest fans for themselves.

True heroes and great leaders have become them for a reason. It is and was through their passion and actions that caused them to be great.

I highly doubt that Baden Powell purposely set out to be one of the most influential people in modern times but he became that for fulfilling a need to create a quality program for the youth of the world.

So my true heroes are the people that have a love for what they do. They do it without recognition. They will do it to help others because it is the right thing to do.

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