Lessons from a Legend

On August 1, 1993 Mr. K (Ewing Kauffman) died. It is so hard to believe he passed away 16 years ago. I still go by Kauffman Gardens and pay my respect to him on a regular basis…that’s the least I can do for a man who has given me and our community so much. I was privileged to work with Mr. K for about two years at the Kauffman Foundation. In those two years I learned so much.

Here are some of the comments I remember Mr. K saying:

• Treat others as you would like to be treated.
• Pour cold water warmly
• If you give kids hope for the future and let them know that someone cares for them, you’ll be surprised at what they can achieve
• You must listen a lot…you learn more from listening than talking
• You owe more to society than just making a profit
• If you give people responsibility, you must give them authority…permit them to make a mistake in order for them to develop as leaders
• The more intelligent you are, the more you get input from others
• Above all, it’s a people factor that will be the secret of your success
• Once a person has food, clothing and shelter, the most motivating force in the world is appreciation.

Mr. K was a very wise man. He walked his talk and he was a mentor to many people. He was a common man who was always striving for uncommon results – in business, sports and philanthropy. I count myself very fortunate to have met and worked with this outstanding leader.


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HCF's Local Health Buzz Blog aims to discuss health and health policy issues that impact the uninsured and underserved in our service area. To submit a blog, please contact HCF Communications Officers, Jennifer Sykes, at jsykes@hcfgkc.org.

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