Investing in Greatness and Beauty

What a week. Since the Bush Foundation announced the 2015 Bush Fellows on March 17, many people have expressed heartfelt congratulations. It was a humbling week.

The week presented numerous opportunities to engage in conversation about my intentions for the Bush Fellowship. What a joy have conversations with very few limits -- pure dreaming at times. This is an intention of the Bush Foundation. They want the Fellows to think big for themselves and their communities. What results from this is nearly impossible to predict, except to know that great challenges need grand ideas. The Bush Foundation is investing in leaders not afraid to dream big. They are investing in leaders who are visionary but respect the need to be measured.

The Bush Foundation is also investing in an idea that society longs for great challenges to be thwarted by the little guy -- the David versus Goliath story. Many of my Fellowship colleagues are "David's". They have personal and professional stories built through adversity; overcoming odds that were easily set against them. So, who better to invest in for overcoming today's challenges than those who've been there before? 

This notion captivates me. Look at the many innovators and changemakers in history. Most, if not all, had tremendous odds to overcome in their own personal (and professional) lives. Malcolm Gladwell writes at length about this ability of the underdog to defeat something seemingly greater than themselves. In fact, Gladwell notes that we see in these "overwhelming odds ... greatness and beauty."

March Madness thrives on this energy and anticipation that an unknown, 16th ranked school can defeat the number one ranked superpower school. It's why we watch, right?

I ask you to watch these fellows:

Some of the newspapers in the region wrote about a few of the seven Bush Fellows from South Dakota -- they are worth your time.

John Glover; Spearfish, SD; Black Hills Pioneer

Chris Francis; Madison, SD; Madison Daily Leader

Kevin Killer; Pine Ridge, SD; Lakota Country Times

David Whitesock; Vermillion, SD; Argus Leader