What Stands are You Taking?

| | General Leadership

A few months ago Colin Lewis took a stand for a group of disadvantaged children in his community.  He has been investing his time as well as donating the proceeds from subscriptions to his Wisdom Notes to the orphanages supported by the Chiva Foundation.   As a subscriber I can say they are truly remarkable and highly recommend them to my readers.

Through his words and deeds Colin provides us with a great demonstration of one of the fundamental Acts of Leadership:  Taking a Stand.

He has woven his own personal experience, resources and capabilities into a way to make a difference in something he cares deeply about.  We all have the opportunity to take stands based on our own personal experiences, resources, capabilities and commitments.  It can be in our families, our communities and/or our places of work.  Our stands can be of “ending world hunger” proportion or impact only a small few.  Bigger is not better.  It all matters.  The place to start is with what matters to you now.

Why take a stand?

Because while we can make a difference by going quietly about it in our day to day actions, the moment we take a stand we invite others who share that commitment to join us.   Perhaps that is one access of transforming an act of kindness into an act of leadership.

The moment we share a stand, our heartfelt commitment to a possibility, with others is the moment we can begin the conversation of how to make that possibility real.  It can be scary.  After all we have to be willing to stand out to stand up for something.  Yet if our stand comes from our heart, chances are it is in the hearts of others, too.

In following Colin’s quest to support the Chiva Foundation I was reminded of something I wrote in 2001 in response to an event that tore at the heartstrings of everyone in my community.  The title is “Every Child is Our Child”.  Click here if you wish to read it.  Thank you Colin for reminding us that every child truly does matter.  That is a stand each and every one of us can take.  Even if we only impact the life of one child, it makes a difference.

So what do you care about that is worth taking a stand for now?  What stand(s) have you already taken? Colin provided us with a great example.  I am sure you all have many more.  And by sharing them here you never know who might be ready to follow your lead and join you.


Enter A Comment

Mike Henry   |   21 October 2009   |   Reply

Wonderful post and poem.

It matters to be “for” something. Much of our world is broken and we each have the power to choose to fix the parts that we find. I choose to stand “for” people and making a positive difference. I don’t want to look back at my life and feel like I failed to do what I could to make things better. I can’t do everything, but I can (and must) do something.

Great post. If we’re not “for” something, with everything we have, then we lose the opportunity to matter.

Steve Finikiotis   |   22 October 2009   |   Reply

Great post, Susan, as usual. When we take a stand for a cause that we believe deeply in, we can make a difference. Those who are fortunate enough to have the means for making a convincing case, and take the steps to do so are, in my book, true leaders. Colin Lewis is a great example. Thank you for telling his story.


Susan Mazza   |   23 October 2009   |  

Thanks Steve – always great to see you here! I’ve often thought in following you on twitter and reading your blog that your stand for creating extraordinary customer experiences provides tremendous insight into the role of the servant leader.

Susan Mazza   |   23 October 2009   |   Reply

Thank you Mike. I also want to appreciate you for your stand for creating a collaborative community of leaders. Through watching and participating in the The Lead Change group on Linked In it is clear you are manifesting that commitment into a reality.

Colin Lewis   |   21 October 2009   |   Reply

Susan – I am deeply touched, thank you. Every child does indeed matter and I am blessed that, through the wonderful support of people like you, Chiva Foundation is able to make a difference. Your poem and the story behind it, touched my heart deeply and in fact serves as a great reminder for all of us to take a stand…we all have the ability to make a difference in the lives of people we interact with and can always help others – I so much agree with you “It all matters. The place to start is with what matters to you now.” Thank you for an inspiring post Susan and for helping me make a difference too.

With Love


Colin Lewis   |   23 October 2009   |   Reply

Thank YOU Monica, Perry, Ava and Steve for your kind words and once again Susan thank you for the reminder – “It all matters”


Susan Mazza   |   23 October 2009   |   Reply

Thank you for being a continuing source of inspriation, wisdom and support Colin. For me you epitomize the stand for Authentic Leadership.

With Love and Gratitude,


ava diamond   |   22 October 2009   |   Reply

What a wonderful post, Susan. I stand for inspiring and empowering people to live their dreams.

And you’re so right…it all matters. You never know when something you do, something you say, some encouragement or help you offer has a lasting impact on someone.

Your poem is incredibly moving. Thanks to Colin for pointing me to it.

Susan Mazza   |   23 October 2009   |   Reply

Thank you Ava. Your stand inspiring people to live their dreams and in particular for supporting women in doing so is evident in everything you write and share. I am so glad to have connected with you.

Joanne Maly   |   23 October 2009   |   Reply

Susan, your poetic tribute to the child was so very visual and touched my heart.

Thank you too for the encouraging words to ‘”stand up for ‘something.’ ” You are so right… “the place to start is with what matters to you now” and it is important that “our stand comes from our heart…”

I am a firm believer that people are typically very perceptive and they can indeed read your eyes, your soul — and your heart (if even – and only – via your written words.)

Thank you for sharing your heart in today’s post.


Susan Mazza   |   26 October 2009   |   Reply

Thank you Joanne. I appreciate your kind words. My intention is always to come from my heart – some times I do it better than others!

Ibrahim Dabo   |   24 October 2009   |   Reply

Susan, thank you for sharing this inspiring message. “Even if we only impact the life of one child, it makes a difference.” That’s one of your many quotes I can relate to; we speak the same language. Life is precious and if we can make a difference in just one life, we know we’ve made a difference. Nothing is too little to do, compared to not doing anything at all. Let us all work to make a change in our world, and let’s keep raising more awareness about these issues that matter. Feel free to check my website http://www.ibdabo.com and blog http://www.ibdabo.com/blog for more information about me and people I have featured who are also making a difference.
Thank you.

Susan Mazza   |   26 October 2009   |   Reply

Thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment. I did visit your site and it is very clear you are no stranger to taking a stand! I hope this is just the beginning of our dialogue.

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