In December of 2013, Jan Bean, cofounder and CEO of Compassion Corps, graduated from Eastern University with a Masters degree in Nonprofit Management. After many months and much dedication to study, research and field work, she developed her “Capstone” project – a paper that is essentially a proposed outline for Compassion Corps’ future. With this action plan in place, the board and staff are more ready than ever to tackle fundraising goals, pursue new projects and make 2014 the organization’s most productive year yet.
Jan will be the first to explain that she had lots of support along the way, but those around her also know how dedicated she remained in order to keep up with her coursework while continuing to work with Beth and the staff on a daily basis to keep Compassion Corps running well.
As a review of Jan’s work and in celebration of her amazing effort, we have compiled some especially significant quotes from a speech she was asked to deliver at her Graduate Luncheon. You can also enjoy the full video below!
“My heart beats to see solutions for poverty, hunger, disease, and injustice in Africa… When I am convinced that something needs to be done, I can get carried away and go for it all – the solution for hunger in Mali, the rebuilding of Liberia’s devastated educational system, reaching the resistant & yet unreached Muslim people of North Africa with the Gospel… I want my relief & development programs to not just succeed, but to be the best. Isn’t this what is advocated by popular business gurus such as Daniel Pink in Drive, Jim Collins in Good to Great, Michael Gerber in The E-Myth Revisited, etc. Be the best at what you’re good at!
Seth Godin is another acclaimed author who has urged us manager/entrepreneurs to think outside the box, utilize our unique creativities, and reach for the stars. Yet his most recent blockbuster, called The Icarus Deception, while reminding us of the perils of aiming too high and ignoring wise caution and tested procedures, also advocates to embrace Icarus’ father’s seemingly forgotten admonition not to fly too low lest the moisture & foam of the sea waters drag us down to our peril.
In other words, we must never just “settle” for things as they are. We should not plot our course too safely… To really soar successfully, he says we must aim high, and let our carefully prepared craftsmenship carry us and our own artistic bent direct our path. I find Godin’s modern application of the Icarus story to be quite true in my experience, except that I would add living by faith, knowing God’s Word & trusting in His promises to those essentials Godin mentions for success.”
Each step of faith is a sweet success stories and each successive risk taken makes it easier to live courageously. Can we muster the courage to challenge the prevailing systems and do what needs to be done to achieve possibly forgotten or abandoned goals? Do we stand our ground when others mock us or try to dis-courage us with their own reality checks and boundaries? I believe that one of the most essential traits of a successful leader is demonstrating courage – and courage that perseveres in the face of adversity, courage that is willing to take risks that others fear to take. As T.S. Eliot challenged: “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
So we need to aim high, be creative, confident, courageous and prepared to address our world’s serious problems, but we must do so as servant leaders, putting aside desire for earthly rewards and saying “no” to our own proud or hungry egos. As a Christian, one’s aim should be to be poured out as what the Apostle Paul called a “drink offering” (in 2 Tim. 4:6) for the sake of others and ultimately for the glory of God…holding nothing back, as Jesus, Himself had supremely modeled for us.”