Support Kansas City (SKC) clients and staff members had the opportunity to participate in Jim McGraw’s LEAPP Ahead Workshop (LEAPP) at July’s Coffee Cup Conversation. Mr. McGraw is the former chief operating officer, corporate officer and board member of pharmaceutical firm Marion Laboratories, former Chairman of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Board of Directors, and a leading voice for quality education, entrepreneurism and free enterprise. Mr. McGraw was there when Mr. Kauffman (Mr. K) made millionaires out of assembly line workers as Marion Labs climbed to the hottest stock on Wall Street.
During Mr. McGraw’s presentation, he emphasized many key messages that were important to Mr. K and the way he chose to live his life. Towards the end of the presentation the words “Be Kind” appeared on the screen. After all Mr. K did for his employees and the community, how could this not be a major theme of Mr. McGraw’s presentation? This, in addition to other valuable messages, became a key takeaway for audience members. Other takeaways included the LEAPP process, which is a simple 4-step process focusing on Leadership, Empathy and the Power of Persuasion. The workshop offers easy-to-use tips that any nonprofit leader can implement to boost productivity and effectiveness in their organization. One staff member noted he plans to use the 4-step process in his own work at SKC.
At a recent staff meeting, SKC staff shared additional ideas that stood out to them about Mr. McGraw’s presentation. Several mentioned how inspired they were by how someone as successful as Mr. K was so committed to upholding values and integrity. Staff members also saw this kindness in Mr. McGraw, who continues to spend his time spreading Mr. K’s legacy at no charge. In return, several staff chose to write thank you cards to Mr. McGraw in order to express their sincere gratitude. The staff also heard from clients in attendance who expressed there was something for everyone to learn from Mr. McGraw and felt they were walking away with new tools in leadership, empathy and persuasion to use with staff and funders. Whether a SKC staff member or a SKC client, attendees seem eager to pass on Mr. McGraw’s and Mr. K’s messaging to their coworkers and community.
-Debra Box, SKC Executive Director