Dawn Smith

maisol media, LLC - Copywriter
Atlanta, GA

    What Business Leaders & Politicians Can Learn from Mr. Twigg

    February 6, 2009

    Future LeaderWith crisp overalls and a mop in tow, Mr. Twigg walked the hallways. He was the most popular man at Whiteside Elementary. I chuckle when I hear Dr. Martin Luther King’s quote, “"If life makes you a street sweeper, be the best street sweeper you can be.” Mr. Twigg was leadership personified.
     
    I burst through the doors of my school every weekday. “How are you doo-ing today, Dawn?” Mr. Twigg asked with his trademark toothy grin. “Fine, Mr. Twigg!” I exclaimed. Faithfully, he would ask about my family, class, or my dog, Bootsie. Off to my class I would skip—his friendliness and insight gave me fuel to start another day of learning. When roughneck girls picked on me for being a child of teachers, Mr. Twigg knew when I wanted to hide behind a water fountain, a carved out dinosaur—anything so the world could not get to me. “How are you doing today, Dawn?” he whispered softly. “I’m okay, Mr. Twigg,” I replied, my eyes barely holding back the tears.
     
    Great leaders are like that. They tailor their approach to the individual, and never lose a single drop of sincerity in the process. Politicians able to tap into the undercurrent of the nation can skyrocket to a public office. Meanwhile, candidates—sometimes with laudable platforms—who rely on formulaic tactics often falter. Consumers typically flock to companies with marketing campaigns that express honest concern for their wants and needs during an economic downturn. When my classmates at Whiteside Elementary needed reassurance, they did not turn to the coolest kid in school (sorry Tommy); they looked to our resident pied piper, Mr. Twigg.
     
    We have an innate need to feel special and heard, which explains my pangs of jealousy the first time I heard Mr. Twigg ask another student, “How are you doo-ing today?” Then again, the world would not have been as enjoyable if I kept leaders like Mr. Twigg to myself.

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