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A Wish for Leaders: A Wish for You

Written by:

Katie Mehnert

I have the honor of giving a eulogy this weekend for a friend who lost her battle to breast cancer. Hannah Rucker was a second mom to me. She was a really tough-love kind of teacher who, in 1992, lobbied our school board to set up an elective class called "Leadership".  She made it happen.  (And, of course, I signed up for that class right away!) 

I was combing through memories the other night as a part of my eulogy preparation and I found this poem she gave to me 20 years ago.  I will share it with you today.  It's called a "Wish for Leaders" by Earl Ruem.

Let it be a reminder that nothing worthwhile comes easily. And no matter what you may be going through, it's worth it. 

A Wish for Leaders

  • I sincerely wish you will have the experience of thinking up a new idea, planning it, organizing it, and following it to completion, and then have it magnificently successful. I also hope you’ll go through the same process and have something “bomb-out.”
  • I wish you could know how it feels “to run” with all your heart and lose…horribly.
  • I wish that you would achieve some great good for mankind, but have nobody know about it except for you.
  • I wish you could find something so worthwhile that you deem it worthy of investing your life within it.
  • I hope you become frustrated and challenged enough to begin pushing back the very barriers of you own personal limitations. 
  • I hope you make a stupid mistake and get caught red-handed and are big enough to say those magic words: “I was wrong.”
  • I hope you give so much of yourself that some days you wonder it it’s worth the effort.
  • I wish for you a magnificent obsession that will give you reason for living and purpose and direction in life.
  • I wish for you the worst kind of criticism for everything you do, because that makes you fight to achieve beyond what you normally would.
  • I wish for you the experience of leadership.

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