Recently I mentioned the phrase “do what’s right because it’s right, whether it works or not.” I learned this from my dear friend, Tom, who says he learned it from the Lord.

Through a series of sudden, unexpected, and unexplainable family tragedies, Tom found himself in isolation. Living alone, feverishly working two jobs, and cut off from those he loved most in the world, Tom had every incentive to be embittered and vindictive. Like most of us, he could’ve fought “fire with fire.”

Instead, he chose to do what’s right because it’s right, whether it worked or not. Whether he’d ever be restored to the rich relationships that were foundational to his life. He determined to love, serve, and support those who, through misunderstanding, had grown distrustful of him.

Leaders go first.

-Kirk Kirlin, from the book “Leadership Courage,” more at

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