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or volunteer. And oftentimes the best leaders do so by example.“Leaders become great leaders not because of their power but because of their ability to empower others.”~ John MaxwellEmpowering others is the next step to-ward leadership. The trust you develop in them promotes optimism and the desire to do things well. The “can-do” spirit leads to new energy, new ideas, and positive outcomes all the way around.Things that will help in the process are your positive approach, desire to listen, giving compli- ments, and the realization that empowerment does not mean abandonment. Be willing to roll up your sleeves and participate. In the end, gratitude and a smile are always welcomed.Being the agent of positive change for those around you is a responsibility, so wear it wisely and wear it well. It takes real determination and com- mitment to your own values to be a great leader. However, learning about you, your community,and the way the world works is a valuable tool for success and happiness.I learned about the skills of delegation and empowerment from some of the best. My parents were delegating and then empowering my siblings and me from the get-go. Whether it was chores in the earliest of days to making business decisions many years later they excelled at encouraging each of us to do amazing things.I’ve learned many things from my father over the years, one of which is exemplified in this quotefrom Lau Tzu, “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say, ‘We did it ourselves.’” He often made us feel this way, even though it was a group effort.One of my favorite quotes from my dad continues to be, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” I regularly apply this concept to many things in life. “If you don’t ask, the answer is always ‘no,’” was his the follow up to a scrunched face of disbelief. So off I went to, ‘get-to-getting.’But there is one standout among many successes that I credit him for whenever I can, the development of a community publication that continues to be a positive voice for advocacy and change, Scene Magazine. When our community needed it the most he chose to take the risk to become the community cheerleader by sharing each month all that we had right here in our hometown. He has made believers out of every family member, even the second and third gener- ations. Together with staff that feels like family, we continue to reach out to the community with good news and great successes every month.We’ve experienced many changes over the years including technology upgrades, which have made the process to publish the magazine (and Senior Times newspaper) each month go faster than ever. At the same time we can then share the interactive versions of the publications online through the website as well as Facebook. Coming soon we will recognize our next man or woman of the year. We welcome nominations all year but now is the time to nominate someone that you believe has made a significant impact in ourcommunity. Head to Facebook for more details. Second to Scene... well, it just might be Sparty. It’s been a regular conversational tidbit ofmine, “Did you know that Richard DeRuiter of Battle Creek designed Sparty?” It’s always funto share that he had his hand in the process of designing the most recognized mascot across the country.“I didn’t want any money. It was an honor being involved as a volunteer,” he will often say.I, on the other hand, would have enjoyed season tickets as an MSU Alumni. Doug Weaver, athletic director at the time, confirms Rich’s contribution to the design process. “The new buffed-up mascot was just what MSU needed at the time.”Whether on the field or in the workforce, Rich was a master at seeing the best in others and teaching them to be the best they could be.You too can become an amazing leader. Find a mentor. Be willing to learn. Be confident that you can make a difference and you will.Richard DeRuiter’s son, Rick DeRuiter with Spartybate and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.” ~ General Colin PowellANNUAL REPORT CARD I SCENE 4307 9e

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