"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless."
Mother Teresa

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Good morning all from a chilly Vancouver, where there is a threat of snow in the suburbs -- gasp!

We were at a dinner with friends earlier in the week and one of the guests asked, provocatively, "what good had come out of the Olympics?" "Of course," he said, "we Canadians all felt good about ourselves and the country, but, nationalism had a very dark side, nationalism was what Hitler exploited."

My own response to his question was that it raised that we humans seem to have a deep need to live in a world that has something "bigger", something more important than my own existence; a bigger meaning in life. Yes, it is this same need for bigger meaning that supports dangerous nationalism and war, and it supports international sporting events and global humanitarian efforts like getting aid to Haiti.

What good then comes out of these international events? That of course is the question for us all. Are these events simply opportunities for the few to make millions of dollars on the backs of taxpayers? Are these events elitist and for only the very wealthy? (I note for example that at the equivalent of $80 US per ticket, the World Cup in South Africa later this year has priced itself out of the range of the vast majority of African people.) And what of the legacy of these events? Will the hungry be fed more? Will more of the shelterless be housed? Will the sick be better cared for?

I believe that what we tap into in these events is an amazing and wonderful human experience of the greater good, the wonderful human experience of seeing beyond our own existence. The challenge is how do we use that experience for continued good? And this question is vital for us as leaders. The people with whom we work, and the people who call us leaders are hungry for bigger meaning. You and I are hungry for bigger meaning. In our organizations we experience this excitement when we make a client's day, when we finish a big project, when we work through a stressful time as a team. One of our roles as leader is to foster the growth of that feeling, that experience. How can we make more client's days? How can we finish more big projects, how can we thrive as a team. And clearly, if we can work with a client, finish a project, thrive as a team, and make a positive difference in the world, then we're bringing about a much greater good.  We'll be making a difference for ourselves, for our organization and for our communities, and perhaps that is the hoped for answer to the question, what good comes from these events? Perhaps we might even be asking ourselves, what bigger good comes from my organization, my team, my work?

May this week be a week of a bigger good for each and every one of us.