Authority Magazine
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How Gary Sloan Of Feed the Children Is Helping To Address The Growing Challenge Of Food Insecurity

Be patient in your career and life. Things don’t always come easy and your career and life “is truly a marathon and not a sprint.”

  • Success isn’t always about what others may see. I’ve learned through time that a title or material possessions don’t always translate to happiness or true success. I know a lot of people who have a title and/or material possessions that appear successful that live very shallow or unhappy lives. Family to me is more important than a title or material possessions especially if they are achieved the wrong way. Perception is not always reality! An example would be the many celebrities who appear to have it all, but we learn later that they were very unhappy people and some even take their own lives.
  • Treat people with respect and show them you care. Something I have learned over time is that people respond a lot better to a leader when you show them respect and demonstrate that you care with actions. I learned a lot from an executive when I was 23 years old and was laid off from a job strictly on seniority. I’ll never forgot the respect this executive showed me and how he demonstrated that he cared about me as a person. Company policy was that as someone was packing their personal possessions when their employment was terminated that a security guard had to be present and would then escort the employee from the building. This executive left his office and came to my desk as I was packing. The executive told the security guard to leave as he would stay with me and walk out with me when I had finished. This executive had a reputation as being aggressive and tough and certainly not the kind of person to show this level of kindness to a young person trying to learn their way in the corporate world. Not only did he stay with me throughout the process, he also reminded me that the reason my position was eliminated had nothing to do with my ability or potential. He encouraged and told me that he felt I had a bright future ahead of me. I have never forgotten that experience and it taught me the importance of demonstrating respect and showing people you care in a work environment especially when you are at a high level with an organization.
  • Understand there is always more to learn and be open to learning. When we are young, we tend to believe we know more than others more experienced and often make that known to them. I can remember an experience when I was a new employee at 25 years old and was asked to teach a training class to a group of experienced managers. The subject was one in which I had a couple of years of experience and thought I was well prepared to teach this group of older, more experienced managers. I thought that “they could learn a lot from me.” The first session with the first group went well and I thought this is “a piece of cake.” The second group and session was quite different. They asked me questions I never considered due to my lack of experience in a different subject area and I even questioned whether I was capable of recovering from what I viewed as a humiliating experience. This experience allowed me to learn toughness and perseverance but also taught me that “there is always more to learn.”
  • Exercise the golden rule of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” To me, this incorporates many of the other points that have been mentioned. We all like to be treated with respect and want to be treated as if our contributions have value. I love baseball and one of the great baseball stories centers around Jackie Robinson and Harold “Pee Wee” Reese during their playing days with the Brooklyn Dodgers more than 70 years ago. The story is that Jackie Robinson was enduring a lot of verbal abuse from the fans at a visiting team location. Robinson who was African-American and Reese who was from Louisville, Kentucky and white heard the verbal abuse and walked up to Robinson, put his arm around him to show the crowd that he supported his teammate and friend. Any of us who was in this same type of situation as Jackie Robinson would appreciate what Pee Wee Reese did. Jackie Robinson also demonstrated throughout his life that he exercised the “golden rule” with the way he treated others. I was glad that I had books that described this story when I was young to remind me that the world would be a lot better place if more people exercised the golden rule like Jackie Robinson and Harold “Pee Wee” Reese!



In-depth Interviews with Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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