Doing Good

November 2004

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending an awards event by a giving circle that I belong to here in Baltimore City. The B’MORE Fund selected four social entrepreneurs whose work has enriched the lives of Baltimore’s residents. Each of the four was presented with a no-strings-attached, $5,000 award at a ceremony celebrating their good works which included running a men’s homeless shelter, an inner-city creative alliance for the arts, an urban youth service corps, and veterans’ education and training programs. It was a joyful and moving celebration of the good in our community, and those who are committing their lives to make our city a better place to live and work.

I was struck by the humility and selfless service of the awardees. As they accepted their awards, several seemed almost bewildered by the fuss and attention, and my sense was that they all preferred working behind the scenes to speaking in the spotlight. Although each was, in their own right, a hero, one awardee insisted that she “leads by following,” giving credit for her organization’s success to her co-founders and co-workers. But as they talked about their work, and those whose lives their respective organizations touched, their sense of compassion for others and passion for the cause they led, was palpable. The evening was a powerful reminder of all this is good in mankind, and that all of us have the power to make a difference in this world.

It is my privilege to witness examples of the goodness in people every day, as my work allows me to see my clients making a positive contribution to their workplace. This is often involves them taking risks, challenging the status quo, or resolving conflict. But underneath all the effort is the intention to leave an organization, team, or department in a better place than it was before. And the results are often quite remarkable and even inspiring. Thank you for allowing me to share in your good works.

Sharon Keys Seal

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