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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Monday 21 January 2013

A Gerard Kennedy Story (1)

Political campaigns are full of little stories both positive and negative that never make the news.  These random encounters or tactical choices offer windows into the characters of the candidates and their teams. Here's one from Team GK:

A couple weeks back, Gerard was in the office (to be clear, I work on his team) for a filmed interview with Susanna Kelley of Ontario News Watch. As the interview was wrapping up and the ONW film team was putting away their gear, a delivery of juice and pop arrived at the office.

Chelios, one of the volunteers who has brought a wealth of talent and dedication to Team GK, began moving the cases of drinks to the back of the office and from there, to the basement for storage. It's the kind of proactive guy he is.  Instinctively, Gerard began to do the same. "It's okay, Gerard," said Chelios - "you don't need to worry about this."
Gerard smiled back and replied, "this is what I do. I've got a few minutes - it'll get done quicker this way."

What followed next was pure magic.  Seeing the candidate role up his sleeves, others in the office felt inspired to do the same - even the ONW camera team helped out.  With a suggestion from Gerard, the team split in two, with one half moving the cases to the back and the next bringing them down to the basement.  The move happened quickly, efficiently and we all felt a sense of empowered teamwork when it was done.

It's a little thing, maybe, but to me this tale personifies what GK is about.  Gerard Kennedy leads by example, empowers other to contribute and then looks for ways to make the process more efficient and effective.  Everyone then has more time and greater collaborative potential to dedicate towards adding value.
Best of all? There was a camera team right there.  Gerard could have turned a good deed into a photo op, but I doubt the idea ever occurred to him.  His focus was less on what he could get out of the work at hand than it was on what he (and collaboratively, we) could contribute. 
Ontario deserves a leader who leads by example.  Gerard is that kind of leader.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post Craig.

    Gerard is certainly a leader who if he has a moment will roll up his sleeves and just get right into the task at hand.

    That is the kind of Leader Ontario needs.