In recent weeks, I have been engaged in a in a number of conversations with our members and volunteers about how best to describe the essence of Omicron Delta Kappa by employing relatively few words. What is that we should say to others in refining our case for membership and support with future generations of leaders and donors? What is the value and importance of membership and involvement in O∆K?
Obviously, there is a lot we can say about Omicron Delta Kappa, but how do we say it succinctly?
There is a literary legend which tells the tale of Ernest Hemingway being challenged to write a short story in six words. The story he allegedly wrote is, “For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.” Whether Hemingway actually crafted such a story is not necessarily relevant to our conversation; however, it does provide a great example of something powerful being expressed with limited words. Michelle Norris, of National Public Radio, took her inspiration from the story about Hemingway when she began work on The Race Card Project. Since starting this initiative several years ago, the effort has facilitated numerous conversations about how to distill thoughts and comments about a difficult topic as well as the expression of numerous poignant observations.
What does it mean to be a member of Omicron Delta Kappa? Who are we as an organization? What is our relevance and meaning?
At the summer meetings of the Omicron Delta Kappa Society’s Board of Directors and the Omicron Delta Kappa Foundation’s Board of Trustees, I distributed cards asking for input from the board members to start the process of helping all of us collectively craft our “elevator speech” – the quick conversation we would have with someone in an elevator going from the lobby to the 15th floor if they saw O∆K on our name badge.
Here are some of their contributions:
A network of highly motivated, well rounded, and diverse leaders seeking to improve their community.
Catalyst to refine and apply exploration of leadership for the next generation of leaders.
Promoting virtuous – innovative practices based on courageous leadership.
The premier honor society celebrating exceptional leadership displayed through individual expression of skills, natural gifts, talents, and attributes.
Our volunteer leadership obviously did not limit their expressions of the essence of O∆K to just six words, but they certainly provided us with a good point of departure for future discussions about our organization.
I invite you to join this conversation. Feel free to comment here at the blog site or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to contribute your thoughts. If you had 30 seconds or less (about 12 – 15 words) riding the elevator, what would you say to another person about O∆K?
I hope that you will continue to check back in here to see what others have said “on the elevator.”