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The Question I’ve Never Asked

Two young men, in a small coffee shop, taught me about leadership.

George and Tyler left on Christmas Eve to serve at a children’s home in Beirut. They’re back for classes. Yesterday, we met to talk.

During our conversation, I asked a question I’ve never asked.

Overseas travel is new to Tyler. George has been abroad several times. This was George’s second trip to the children’s home.

I was curious about highlights and lowlights. “What happened on your trip?” But, things got rolling when I asked the question I’ve never asked.

“How would you like others to be different after hearing your story?”

I wanted them to think of themselves as men of influence. 

Leaders think of themselves with others in mind.

Tyler went first. George is a muller.


“I want them to be ready to say yes. Take chances. Don’t put things off.” Tyler said.

We talked about leadership and life principles, while George mulled.

Believe you can:

“I want them to believe they can,” George said.

George heard about the children’s home a couple years ago. There was no organization or group trip. He made the connections and made it happen.

I asked, “What got you started in the first place?


“I was excited to teach welding?” George said. (He went to Beirut because of his passion for welding.)

I said, “Isn’t it interesting where a passion to teach welding can take someone?” We talked for a while about using our passions in service to others.

George’s enthusiasm for welding has grown to passion for Middle Eastern culture and a children’s home in Beirut.

He came home thinking about the next time he gets to go back.

Leadership lessons from the coffee shop:

  1. Say yes.
  2. Believe you can.
  3. Follow your passion.

Passion thinks next time.

What surprising place has your passion taken you?

How would you like others to be different because of your story?

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