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My brother was not an only child despite his claims to the contrary.

My brother was not an only child despite his claims to the contrary. He’s right to point out that I often seem ‘out of place and out of time’; kind of a chronic innate distraction that makes me an accidental traveler and perpetual outsider. I’ve never devised a great plan to guide my life, so I just keep moving along with the incomprehensible flow. The fact that I don’t get lost I attribute both to luck and seriously listening to women, great strategies for success I highly recommend.

The paradox of being a loner and then creating a career as a public speaker and community activist is not lost on me. Some say I have an ability to “gather the strength of others”, but I make no such claims. Landing in the western ski resorts 35 years ago, I discovered that hanging with “the tan, the swift, and the well-to-do” is nothing to scoff at. My goal is to create meaning in the presence of too much sunshine and the vacuity of sports while keeping ennui at bay.

I seek ‘the public good’ comprised of equal measures of environment awareness and communitarian values while personally cocooning in dark corners in the company of oddball thoughts, and somehow maintain an aura of sagacious depth and philosophical seriousness while wistfully viewing the humorous side of life.

This essay and portrait is part of a community-art and leadership project called “wdydwyd?” Tony Deifell (KNLP-16) invited his colleagues in the Kellogg Fellowship to reflect on what motivates them to follow their personal and professional paths by answering the question, “Why do you do what you do?”


“wdydwyd?” has reached over 1.5 million people worldwide and it has been used for team-building at Google, Twitter, many colleges and universities, nonprofits and K-12 classrooms. And, according to Wired Magazine, “In Silicon Valley, that question has been the hottest team-building meme since Outward Bound – and it’s spreading.” For more information: http://wdydwyd.com/leadership.


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