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Connect Your Voice To Your Touch

There are many people from the world of business who have impacted my life. Zig Ziglar is my personal mentor and has provided tremendous influence in my life. Another voice of influence in my life is Max Dupree, author of many books including The Art of Leadership, and former Chairman and CEO of Herman Miller Furniture Company. Max told a moving story of the connection between finding our voice and the actions we must take to touch those who are entrusted to us.

Esther, my wife, and I have a grand-daughter named Zoe, the Greek word for “life.” She was born prematurely and weighed one pound, seven ounces, so small that my wedding ring could slide up her arm to her shoulder. The neonatologist who first examined her told us that she had a 5 to 10 percent chance of living three days. When Esther and I scrubbed up for our first visit and saw Zoe in her isolette in the neonatal intensive care unit, she had two IVs in her navel, one in her foot, a monitor on each side of her chest, and a respirator tube and a feeding tube in her mouth.

To complicate matters, Zoe’s biological father had jumped ship the month before Zoe was born. Realizing this, a wise and caring nurse, named Ruth, gave me my instructions. “For the next several months, at least, you’re the surrogate father. I want you to come to the hospital every day to visit Zoe, and when you come, I would like you to rub her body and her legs and her arms with the tip of your finger. While you’re caressing her, you should tell her over and over how much you love her, because she has to be able to connect your voice to your touch.”

Ruth was doing exactly the right thing on Zoe’s behalf (and, of course, on my behalf as well), and without realizing it she was giving me one of the best possible descriptions of the work of a leader. At the core of becoming a leader is the need always to connect one’s voice to one’s touch.

Max is right on target. The most effective leaders always connect their voice to their touch.

Practical Ways to Connect Your Voice to Your Touch:

  • Become a writer of hand-written notes.
  • Become an observer who recognizes the accomplishments of others.
  • Become a connector of people who need to know one another.
  • Become a person that you wish you had in your own life as an encourager.

Remember the words of Mya Angelou, “People may forget who you are and what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel!”

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