Portland, Maine — I was fresh out of receiving my MBA from the School of Business at Andrews University. After spending a year or so writing Certificates of Need and new business plans at Kettering Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio, their CEO, Bob Willett, called me into his office one day.
"Ted, I've had my eye on you. You're going to be a hospital CEO one day and I'm going to mentor you and help you gain the experiences in areas you need to develop. I'm going to send you as our loaned executive to this year’s United Way campaign. For the next couple months, you will work at United Way full time and help them in their fundraising effort."
"Bob, I appreciate your kind words, but I cannot ask people for money. I would be a duck out of water. I enjoy writing, but leadership is not my thing, and I cannot meet with people I don't know asking for contributions.”
I was becoming terrified. Bob didn't understand how much of an introvert I was (actually, he really did!). The only class I ever got a D in was Speech. I can't do this!
Ted, it's settled; you report to the United Way office next Monday."
What a dreadful weekend I had thinking of the terror that was awaiting me.