Lesson from 54A

This is the charming welcome sign to the left of the entrance to the Mother House

Thanks for tuning in this past week for excerpts based on my recent Servant Leadership article “Lessons Learned from Mother Teresa.”

Funny as the way life goes, I had many great blogging ideas this week (seems to always be the case in the rare event that I’ve got a weeks worth of entries already considered). Thanks to all of you who have emailed me during the week about this series. I’ve added an audio clip at the end that summarizes a bit of my experience and a special memory from spending time with the “Missionaries of Charity.”

Here’s the PDF version of the full article (Lessons Learned from Mother Teresa), or here’s a link to the web-based article on the DSN website. 

Lessons Learned from Mother Teresa
I jumped headfirst into the direct selling industry in fall 2005. In the years since, I can’t think of another industry where more time and effort are spent developing a corporate and field culture.

If that causes you to think of power suits, rushed lunch meetings, and the host of “Dilbert” cartoons you’ve enjoyed over the years, I wouldn’t blame you. After all, I had worked for some exceptional Fortune 500 companies prior to joining Univera. Corporate culture was embedded into my business vocabulary, but the term wasn’t always viewed in a flattering light.

It wasn’t until I began working at Univera that the word culture took on a positive tone. Our company encourages a culture of respect, integrity, listening to and helping others—a term we refer to as servant leadership. Let me be clear; we’re far from perfect, but I’ve loved the opportunity to work in a company that shares this aspiration.

Click here to read the full article.

And as a final sign off to this series, I’m including an audio clip from my last day at the Mother House. It just gives a glimpse into what it’s like there; after an early AM breakfast each day one of the Sisters leads the group in a Catholic Prayer (incidentally, I’m not Catholic–nor were many of the other volunteers).

Then, before sending us all off for the day, they sing two songs. Every single day, the exact same songs. 

The first is more like another prayer but with some voice behind it. The second is sung to all of the volunteers who are on their last day of service. 

Along side me each morning were newfound friends who were atheists, agnostics, protestants, buddhists, hindu’s, spiritualists, and many others beliefs. Yet, without exception, they all enjoyed this time together (though not all sang along). I’m not even sure I totally understand why so many people liked this–perhaps it was being and feeling part of community, even if some didn’t believe in the same God as did the Sisters. But it’s still a favorite memory for me as well. 

So before you continue–my word of caution: the song contains the word “Jesus.” A few times.  So if you don’t dig the word, or if it might offend you, just don’t press play. 🙂

There are really two reasons that draw me to post the clip: 

1. It was for many the volunteers a favorite moment of the day and it’s a condensed sound bite that gives a glimpse into the “Mother House” every morning at 7:30am.

2. It’s an example of how many people from different backgrounds can come together for a united purpose of service, and even sing and share together yet by still holding onto starkly different beliefs. 


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8 Replies to “Lesson from 54A”

  1. Read the DSA piece. Really well done. You really take the reader on a journey way, way beyond the page. Thank you for taking the time to share it with so many.

  2. My admiration and honor goes out to the work and continuance of Mother Teresa. Although I have differences with her religion I do admire her faith and her walk. Those that follow her concepts of life are also blessed with something special that God bestows upon them because all mankind are his children. By the way Jesus was a very good Jewish boy and was one that understood God’s commands and laws more than anyone of his time. He always went to Synagogue or the Temple for all the special times that God had required of His people. Jew and non Jew alike.

  3. Hi Larry, I’m honored that you read it! It has been ages since I’ve seen you–hope all is well.

  4. Hi, good post. I have been thinking about this topic,so thanks for sharing. I will probably be coming back to your posts. Keep up great writing

  5. Thanks for sharing this very moving piece. Having a bit of the cold mkt blues and the thought of just helping “one” was very moving for me.

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