JS Tip 488: Engage

From the Leadership Workshops: Engage

This will be an unusual tip. It will be longer than usual. It will be more literary than usual. It will be more passionate than usual. Please forgive that. 

The Challenge

Tom Paine

In 1776, the American revolutionary wrote The Crisis. The opening lines—


  • THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. 


    Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. 

Sounds like our times. 

W. B. Yeats

In 1919, the Irish poet, weary of a world war and an Irish rebellion, wrote The Second Coming. Some lines—

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

    Sounds like our times. 

    Jack McCoy

    In Law & Order, the district attorney confronts a corrupt politician: 

    It seems that every day we hear about another corrupt civil servant, banker, businessman, or athlete. It seems that behind every success story of the last ten years, a scandal is exploding. 

    We’re facing the rising sea of corruption, and we wonder, “Who will be the next to be drowned? Who will be saved? And what will become of our good works? When will it stop? And who will stop it?” (Season 19, Episode 22)


      These are our times. 

      A Response

      Everyone leads. 

      Everyone engages. Cares. Converses. Listens. Asks questions. Asks for specifics. Examines facts. Is polite and respectful. Is always polite and respectful

      But engages. Participates. Gets involved.

      If we do nothing, we are responsible. 


      Talk to us. We love this stuff.


      Mark Brooks