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Leadership Lessons From Mr. Rogers

About a month ago, a friend gave me a little book called, I'm Proud of You, My friendship with Fred Rogers by Tim Madigan.

Granted, the book isn't a leadership book in the traditional sense. This book doesn't instruct you how to become a high impact leader, visionary and change agent all wrapped up into one Type A package. Rather it is a book about a friendship. It about a friendship between a newspaper writer and a a children's television icon, Mr. Rodgers.

What is so compelling about this book is way Fred was able to generously give away his life to a man he hardly knew. But that initial genuine investment become a deep abiding friendship over many years. And their friendship ignited all because Fred was able to say to Tim, "I'm Proud of You" - words that Tim never received from his own dad.

I'm Proud of You, is a beautiful portrait of spiritual leadership. Fred Rogers was a man so secure in who he was that he had deep resources of love, affection and affirmation. Those resources he was then able to give away to so many people, Tim being just one of many recipients.

Pastors and ministry leaders would learn a lot from this special man, Fred Rogers - who not only brought joy into the lives of hundreds of thousands of children, but also to one man, all because he uttered the words, "I'm Proud of You".


I witnessed such a moment 5 years ago when a young pastor was showing his mentor around the church that he had just finished building. The bishop said 4 simple words, "I'm proud of you" and the pastor wept like a baby.

Affirmation is a powerful thing.

wow, what a confirmation of the power of affirming and loving doesn't take much.

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