Skills for Anyone: How Kermit Shared
Five Leadership Secrets with the World
By Ed Sykes
Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the funeral of my
friend Kermit. A pleasure, you ask? Yes, a pleasure and a
honor, because it was a great celebration of Kermit's life and
the passion and spirit he brought to living it.
Usually, when I go to funerals, the spiritual leader (pastor,
minister, rabbi, cleric, etc.) goes on and on about the
deceased, a person he barely knows; and maybe one or two
friends or associates might say something about the
deceased. Well, Kermit's funeral was special. The pastor
spoke briefly, a singer sang a hymn, and then the pastor
asked for comments from the audience. That’s when the
funeral became really special. After one and a half hours
later, over forty people had gotten up and shared their
positive experiences and what Kermit meant to them. People
from their 20's to well over 60-year-old people from different
spiritual, ethnic, social, and economic backgrounds stood up
to make comments. People who served with him in the Navy
(Kermit retired as a Commander) stood up and spoke about
how Kermit changed their lives.
There was story after story about how Kermit made the
speakers overcome obstacles and made them believe they
could do better, and did this with passion. Some of them
were as follows:
- Past ballplayers talked about Kermit’s cowbell as a rallying cry at their ballgames.
- A woman told of having a flat tire on a busy roadway and Kermit, whom she didn’t know at the time, stopped and helped her fix the tire; and then they became friends.
- A businessperson talked about how Kermit volunteered
his time to help him launch a business that is still going
strong after ten years.
- A previous player described how he was motivated by
Kermit to make something of himself. He went to college and
is a very successful basketball coach teaching the same
principles that Kermit taught him.
- A man explained that he was going through a divorce and
bankruptcy and was thinking of committing suicide. Kermit
heard about his troubles, called him, and helped him through
these dark times. Now this person helps others through their
challenging moments in life.
Wow! It moved me. Here are five leadership
secrets Kermit shared with us. How can you apply them to
become more successful and outstanding leaders?
- Leadership Skill: What is Your Cowbell? Create Passion!
Kermit truly enjoyed working with people to make them
better. It was not just the cowbell, but the emotion and
excitement he experienced when seeing other people
succeed. The cowbell was just the tool that Kermit used to
show his passion so that others became passionate. Let
your passion show. Let people know that you are excited
about their accomplishments, and the passion will multiple.
Leadership Skill: Expect the Best. Excellence Will Take Care of the Rest.
It was said about Kermit that when meeting people, he never
met a stranger. In his mind they were already someone he
knew. Kermit always expected the best when interacting
with people, and they eventually rose to his expectations.
Expect the best out of people, and they will rise to your
Leadership Skill: Understand So That You Are Understood
Kermit’s conversations were always centered on
understanding the other person. For all the years I knew
him, I never knew he was a commander in the Navy. He
didn’t make his title the focus of the conversation. You see,
it wasn’t about him; it was always about the other person’s
interests, needs, etc. Because of this, people naturally
wanted to become involved in Kermit’s projects and help
Kermit make other people successful.
So my question is: As a leader, how well do you understand your
As a leader, take the time to understand their goals, wants, needs,
hobbies, etc. The more you take time to understand them,
the more your employees will want to help you succeed.
Leadership Skill: Give of Yourself
Kermit always gave his time, energy, and passion without
“keeping score.” In return, the people he helped not only
helped him, but went on to make a difference in other
Take the time to go the extra mile to see how you can help
your employees, your team, and/or your organization
without “keeping score.” Your employees will feel that you
care, and then they will go to a new level of caring.
Leadership Skill: Share the Knowledge
Kermit took the time to share his knowledge with others so
that they become more successful. Whether it was coaching
a sports team, helping a friend start a business, or sharing
his experiences to get a person through a difficult time,
Kermit took the time to share his knowledge with others.
Because Kermit shared his knowledge, other people became
more successful and they shared their knowledge with
others so that they could be more successful.
What special knowledge do you have that can help others
succeed? Don’t hoard your knowledge, share it. By sharing
your knowledge, you multiply yourself and become known
as a developer of people. Your knowledge, once you share
it, will live on after you are gone.
Apply these five leadership skills and create success
in your business, with your team, in your community, and
your life. Just like a leader like Kermit, you will also see instant results
and develop your own leadership style.
Thanks for sharing, Kermit, and making the world a better
Suggested leadership reading:
Eight Leadership Techniques for
Seven Secrets to
Being the Leader Everyone Wants to Follow
Five Secrets to Becoming the Perfect Employee
That Everyone Wants – Part One
Have You Appreciated Someone Today?
Nine Ways Johnny Carson Can
Help You Run Outstanding Meetings
You Mean I Need to
Promote Myself to Get a Promotion? 5 Promotion Secrets to Get the Job You Want!
Five Secrets to
Gaining Credibility with Your Team for Outstanding
How Appetizing Is
Your Feedback? (5 Steps to Giving Effective Feedback)
Ten Techniques for
Motivating Others Through Chaos
Action Steps to Motivate Yourself to Great Accomplishments
Eight Ways to Motivate
Delegate to Accelerate Success
(How to Prepare
Yourself and Others for Success)
Appreciate to Motivate
(The Key to Successful Team Building)
Greatest Gift of All - The Gift of Empowerment
Leadership Secrets for Challenging Times
Ten Quick Tips for Outstanding
Dr. Seuss's "The Cat in the Hat" Will Help You Get
Your Point Across! (Yes you can, here's the plan!)
How to Set Boundaries and Say No
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How to Handle Workplace Stress and Master Your Life leadership
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