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  • Writer's pictureLeigh Gerstenberger

Two Words

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to go through some extensive assessment testing to help me gain insight into my individual strengths from a career development standpoint. During the debrief, the industrial psychologist (Dr. Tom) who had administered the battery of exams shared his conclusions with me. Initially his comments were rather mundane as he indicated that I would never be an engineer; enjoyed sales and marketing; and might want to consider a career in public relations.

By this point in our conversation I was totally “under-whelmed” and felt like saying to him, “So Doc, tell me something I don’t already know about myself!” But before those words came out of my mouth, he made the comment that I was a very creative person. At this point in our discussion I paused to politely disagree with him.

I explained that I had a pretty good insight on who in my family was creative and that it wasn’t me. I further elaborated by sharing that my grandmother had been a seamstress and made wedding gowns during the depression; my mother was also creative having made her own and her daughter’s clothes; my sister was a graphic artist; my wife a quilter; and my daughter a fashion designer. I proudly explained to him that it was the women who possessed the creative DNA in my family… not me.

After listening patiently to my analysis, the doctor simply asked, “Do you like to write?” My response was that I did enjoy writing. Furthermore, I shared that I do some public speaking and frequently write out my talks before presenting them, at which point the good doctor pointed out that writing was, in fact, a creative art!

As our discussion concluded, Dr. Tom said, “Leigh, I have two words that describe you, would you like to know what they are?” Naturally, at this point, I was on the edge of my seat and replied, “Of course”, to which he responded, “You are an Organizational Ambassador.”

Simply put, he nailed it. In sharing those two words, Organizational Ambassador, Dr. Tom gave me an insight into my personality and purpose that I had not previously fully appreciated.

In sharing those two words with me, I understood, for the first time, that when I’m passionate about the mission of an organization, I can be a most effective advocate on its behalf.

One such organization that has captivated me in recent years is Convoy of Hope, a 25-year old, faith-based, international, humanitarian organization whose mission and work throughout the United States and the world has won my heart.  

Internationally, Convoy’s primary goal is to eradicate hunger.  To that end, COH feeds more than 200,000 children daily around the world in addition to running Women’s Empowerment and Agricultural Development Programs in third world countries. 

Additionally, Convoy conducts Inner City Reaching Events and Rural Compassion Programs throughout the United States and provides Disaster Relief Services (for victims of floods, fires, hurricanes, typhoons, tornados, etc.) having responded to 21 international and 10 domestic disaster events in 2018.

My wife and I have had the great privilege of meeting Convoy’s leaders and learning about the impact this organization is making around the world. Thanks to COH I have a much greater appreciation for the difference between what it means to give a “helping hand” vs. a “hand out” to an individual in need.

If you’d like to learn more about how you or an organization you’re affiliated with (business, church, school, etc.) can partner with Convoy of Hope, please feel free to reach out to me directly.

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