Leaders Must Learn That Generosity Goes a Long Way

It’s wintertime in Wisconsin and we’ve already had enough snow to last the entire season.
Just like last year, the snow came early and now, often. Drifts at the end of the driveway are as tall as me, which makes throwing snow off a shovel nearly impossible.

Every morning I wake up wondering if I’ll have to clear snow before I can start the day. This morning there was no doubt. I went to bed last night with winter snow warnings in full play.

It’s easy on days like today to feel worn down, with gloomy news from every sector of the economy piling onto nasty weather, and pessimists everywhere wailing about worse to come.

But I watched the trash man pull up to the snow bank at the curb this morning, his truck quiet on snow-packed roads. His hooded coat was heavy as he swung the trash, but he moved with strength and grace and an undisturbed ease, despite the challenging weather. I admired and appreciated that man this morning and thought how unsung the heroes who make our communities run day in and day out almost without our noticing. I’m glad I noticed today.

Later in the afternoon as I was shoveling snow for what I hope will be the last time today, my neighbor drove past on his way home from work. He told me not to struggle with the heavy plow droppings at the end of the driveway. Said he’d bring his snow blower to finish the job.

As I went back to shoveling the rest of the driveway, my neighbor on the other side guided his snow blower up the sidewalk and made short work of my plow droppings. He smiled and winked as he made his way back to his house and I thought to myself, such blessings I’ve had on a snowy Wisconsin day.

We Americans have a long and noble tradition. When times get tough, people help each other. I am touched to see it alive and well; grateful to live next door to such generosity.

Categories: Leadership

About Susan Marshall

founder susan marshall

Susan A. Marshall is author, speaker and founder, whose mission is to create a stronger, more confident future, one person or team at a time.  Through personal experience and hands-on work with executives from diverse industries at all levels, Susan has had the privilege of helping thousands of people do the difficult and exhilarating work of growth.