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.


Steve, Thanks for sharing such kind and inspirational words with us. Mr. K's legacy lives on in this city everyday through the eye's and hearts of many people. Listening is very important and is something we all should do a better job of. I love these quotes!

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About Me

Steve Roling

Steve Roling

Steve Roling is the President/CEO of the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City. Each week he blogs about issues that inspire him as we work toward eliminating barriers to quality health.