#Hall of Fame Part Two – Leadership Lessons Learned


It’s said that the devil is in the details. Well, so is success.

I wrote in my last blog that my wife, Kim, was being inducted into the Illinois State University Athletic Hall of Fame. Not only was she treated like royalty throughout the homecoming weekend, but it was a lesson in leadership as to how the event was planned and executed. Here are a few of the things I observed.

  • Pay attention to the little things. Communication was detailed and on time. Schedules were sent to us well in advance. We knew where to show up, parking and game passes were included so we avoided traffic and lines. We felt special!
  • The right people saying the right things. The university president, Dr. Larry Dietz, and Director of Athletics, Larry Lyons had done their homework. They knew who they were going to meet and what to say to engage and honor the inductees. There were six events throughout the weekend we were asked to attend. At each of them someone knew we were coming, who we were, and how to direct us to seats. When Kim was introduced they had her bio and photo up on the screen, even the jumbotron in Redbird Arena and Hancock Football Stadium.
  • Social Media. Facebook, university website, emails, press releases…all done on time and accurately.
  • Opportunity to speak. Kim was invited to meet and talk with the varsity women’s basketball team, the coach and two players joined us for an alumni luncheon, she gave a six minute keynote address to 300 people at the Percy Hall of Fame inductee breakfast. She was able to tell what was unique and powerful about her experience as a student athlete, and she was thanked and honored for her contributions to women’s athletics.
  • Gifts. A nice welcome bag of ISU swag was waiting for us at the hotel, and they “comped” our hotel room, which wasn’t necessary, but certainly appreciated.

A special thank you to #MarianneRiddell, Illinois State’s Director of RB4L (Redbird For Life) & Donor Events, who was “everywhere all weekend” making sure that Kim and the other inductees had every question answered. Marianne's professional manner and delightful personality definitely represented the RB4L spirit.

Because Kim played three sports all four years while at ISU she was never able to attend a homecoming event as a student. This was not her first time back to campus, but it was her first ISU homecoming event. I doubt that it will be her last. Go Redbirds!

Here is the link to Kim’s acceptance speech if you’re interested. Kim’s remarks begin at 44:45 of the video.


This blog shares perspectives on how you have the ability to create new story endings that are meaningful, powerful and filled with hope. I facilitate culture changing processes that help organizations achieve greater impact. Also, I provide leadership coaching to help executives and aspiring leaders become the fullest expression of who they’re intended to be.

If you're looking for coaching or consulting services, contact me - brian@leadersedge.me

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