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90 in 90: Colleen Morrone, Goodwill of Delaware and Delaware County

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Lessons from the Hundred Acre Wood

Almost 100 years ago, author A. A. Milne wrote two books about a boy named Christopher Robin, a bear named Winnie the Pooh and their friends that lived in the Hundred Acre Wood. Milne was an intellectual writer and a deep thinker, and much wisdom can be gleaned from his stories of how Pooh and friends navigated life’s ups and downs.  

“Don’t underestimate the value of doing nothing, or just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.” – Pooh
Take time just to be quiet, to breathe and to reset. Sometimes some of our best ideas come from the quiet moments.

“You find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.” – Pooh
Understand the value of being surrounded by strong teams, partners, and colleagues. I’ve made it a priority to surround myself with people that will provide insight, challenge my ideas, and tell me the truth- even when they know it’s not what I would like to hear.

“We can’t all, and some of us don’t.  That’s all there is to it.” – Eeyore
Sometimes we must accept our limitations.  Its just that simple. There are some things that others will do better than us and that’s perfectly OK.

“You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you.  You must go to them sometimes.” – Pooh
Network. Getting out of your comfort zone can lead to new opportunities, partnerships and friendships that would never form if you stayed inside your office. 

“The things that make me different are the things that make me me.” – Piglet
Embrace individuality.  Our diversity makes the world a better, more creative, and inspiring place.  As Piglet would say, “If everybody were like everybody else, how boring would it be.”

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – Christopher Robin
When times are rough, remind yourself that you are brave, strong, and brilliant; If you speak it long enough, you’ll start to believe it. 

“Think it over, think it under.”
Allow yourself the creative freedom to challenge the status quo!  Embracing multiple points of view will positively influence how you lead.   

“If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient.  It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.” – Pooh
You never know what’s going on in a person’s life that is keeping them from giving you their full attention.  Before you get upset, give that person a little grace, and if that person still doesn’t listen, find someone else who will.

“When we hit an obstacle, sometimes the best we hope for is to bounce back, to recover, get through this and get back to normal. But what if we consider using the moment to bounce forward instead, being on the alert for opportunities, not merely repairs?  If we spend our time and effort focusing on a return to normal, sometimes we miss opportunities right in front of us.  Bouncing forward means an even better path, not merely the one we were on in the first place.”  – Seth Godin
The pandemic changed everything that we considered normal. As we continue to recover, we should be figuring out how to take leaps into the future of work, workforce, and life.  

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
In 1921, a small group of people in Delaware went door-to-door in wealthy neighborhoods collecting donations of used household goods and clothing. Now, more than 100 years later, Goodwill is still improving the quality of life for community members through free job training and support services that are funded through the sale of donated goods and clothing.

Colleen Morrone is CEO of Goodwill of Delaware and Delaware County.

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