Dominoes Episode Fourty-Five

As Tracie was nearing the end of her interviews, she began to marvel at the differences in each of the interns. All of them had become difference makers in their own way. What she began to believe was that there was no common defining trait for difference makers. In a way, this was encouraging because it meant that everyone could make a difference. Next up her interview was Alan. She was intrigued by why other interns called him Sparky.

Tracie: Let me begin by asking how you got the name Sparky?

AlanThat is actually the back story behind the cause that I took on. In my junior year in high school the basketball team that I was on finished 2nd in the state championship. Every one of our starters was coming back, and we were predicted to be one of the all-time best teams ever in our state’s history. I was the 6th man on that team. I would come in the game when the team had seemed to have lost energy. My role was to renew the spark and get us going again. I was very good at that, but I lost my own energy after a few minutes and was taken out of the game. I would then return again and again when the team needed a boost.

Tracie: Now tell me about how that led to your cause.

AlanSadly, the summer before our senior year several of our major economic drivers in the community were closed down. We lost three of our starters when their families were forced to move away. Our team never was the same after that.

Tracie: But couldn’t you have just stepped in as a starter and led your team?

AlanI tried, but I learned something very important about myself. I’m a   catalyst. In a chemical reaction, the catalyst is used to start the reaction but is quickly spent. I’m good at getting things going, but not sustaining them.

Tracie: But sustaining actions would seem to be essential for difference makers?

AlanIt is, but what I have found my role to be is one of conceiving actions to be taken and finding a person to work with to sustain that action. I’m the energizer and the confidence builder who gets things started. But I need to move on to other things once the fire is lit.

Tracie: Was Charley ok with your approach?

AlanHe was, because it was a perfect fit for the cause I wanted to take on. To revitalize our economy we needed a lot of small successful initiatives, not a big one. I have been good at starting a lot of those small entrepreneurial businesses with others who can sustain them.

Tracie: You’re still playing that 6th man role, aren’t you?

AlanYes, I am.

Tracie: Now that I think about it, a number of the changes in our society didn’t begin as major initiatives but as small events, each having an impact.

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“I am personally convinced that one person can be a change catalyst, a ‘transformer’ in any situation, any organization. Such an individual is yeast that can leaven an entire loaf. It requires vision, initiative, patience, respect, persistence, courage, and faith to be a transforming leader.” – Stephen Covey (Inspirational Author)

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