The Gift of an Open Door

In 2011, I wrote a blog post entitled, Mentors, Role Models and Other Ways We Learn – a reflection on personal mentors, role models and struggles along the journey — all of whom/which have helped shape and influence the person I am today. In it I wrote,

“The truth is that sometimes, we cannot know in the present moment how the people we are surrounded by will inspire our learning…we cannot foresee how our daily struggles may end up transformative in nature, providing us with fertile ground for growth and enabling us to step up and into real leadership.”

Beyond the lessons and role models; beyond those who inspire us or shape our thinking, are those leaders who go a step beyond by opening doors for others, creating pathways to opportunities that might otherwise remain closed or pass us by.   They are selfless, instead of self-serving; empowering, instead of power wielding; transparent and generous with their time and network, realizing that when others grow, we all benefit.

As I reflect back on the past few years in particular, I am reminded of those who have opened doors for me, creating connective pathways that have led to an intersection of head and heart, weaving my passion for both the world and leadership into current initiatives and opportunities that feed my soul.   Too many to acknowledge in the span of one post and more than I can repay in a lifetime, there is nevertheless one who stands out above the rest; one who has helped refine my thinking, support my writing, inspire my learning, coach my development, and open doors into the world of leadership that were once both closed and unknown to me; a world that beckons me to serve alongside others in the hopes of building a better world.

leaders-open-doors-blog-tour-square-300x300As part of the Leadership Opportunity Fest Blog Tour, hosted by Bill Treasurer, I am honored to acknowledge my friend S. Chris Edmonds — author, speaker, executive consultant with his own firm and the Ken Blanchard Companies, and guitar-wielding member of the band, Jones and Raine, who by taking a chance and opening a door for me, created a gateway of endless learning, engagement, connection and growth that continues to enrich my life beyond measure or words.  I am also grateful to Bill Treasurer and his open and fitting invitation to contribute this post.  Open, because Bill, like so many others in this world of heart-centered leadership, is both generous and inclusive.  Fitting, for it is through Chris and a mutual heart-centered friend, leader, and fellow door-opener, Becky Robinson, that I first came to meet Bill.

I am thankful to each of you and so many others who challenge and inspire me daily to reach and lead at a higher level, and in doing so, pay it forward by empowering and supporting others along the way.

I’m curious…

In the spirit of acknowledging and appreciating others, who has opened a door for you along your own journey?  Who inspires, supports and encourages your own learning and growth? Who has helped pave new pathways and create connection points, enabling you to expand the scope of your dreams or realize your potential?

3 thoughts on “The Gift of an Open Door

  1. Sharon – what a lovely acknowledgement to those who have given you a hand up! I can think of many in my life, and your post is a gentle reminder to let those folks know how much I appreciate and value their help along the way.


    1. Thank you, Lori. I could fill an entire book with acknowledgements of those, both known and unknown, who have lent a hand, opened a door or paved a path, without whose help my life might certainly have taken a different trajectory, for no one succeeds alone.

      It’s interesting…just this morning I was at a program where one participant was asked, “what’s your definition of success?” Perhaps Harvey Firestone (1868-1938), founder of Firestone Tire and Rubber, said it best when he wrote: “It is only as we develop others that we permanently succeed.”

      Here’s to paying it forward and opening doors, just as others have done for us.


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