By Rachel Scher McLean / Posted on February 11th, 2015
Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. –John F. Kennedy
The 7th Annual Green House Meeting and Celebration provided not just the opportunity to grow and learn from each other but also to draw on the wisdom of leaders in other fields. Our conference was held in Memphis, TN—the home office of FedEx and we were honored to hear the inspirational words from Rose Flenorl, Manager of Global Citizenship. Green House adopters with impressed with her message about leadership and change.
In her speech, Rose built upon the theme of the conference, “Leading with Heart and Soul.” She reflected on the founder and CEO of Fed Ex, Frederick W. Smith, and how he was leading with his heart and soul when he fought against the naysayers, all the critics who called him crazy, to start a little airline, then called “Federal Express.” He had total and resolute faith that this country needed an overnight package delivery service, and he was the one to make it happen. Rose enforced the point that growth and success is not possible without a deliberate focus on adapting to change. In fact, Mr. Smith is often quoted as saying that “managing change is the key to a successful future.”
As Manager of Global Citizenship at FedEx, Rose is a part of the team that demonstrates the heart and soul of the company. She works with non-profit organizations to make a difference in people’s lives. Whether it is disaster relief, pedestrian and road safety, education or the environment – Fed Ex supports hundreds of charitable groups and causes through grants, sponsorships, in-kind shipping and volunteerism.
She leveraged her experiences with change and growth to highlight the changes that are occurring in the health care field, particularly with the aging Baby Boomer population. Through a moving and personal story about her mother, Rose became vulnerable, and connected her story with the work of Green House adopters, “I, for one, don’t want to be a burden on my family. I hope that if/when I get to a point where I need long-term care that I have a nurturing, warm, home-like place I can live complete with a caring and competent staff.”
In preparation for her talk, Rose visited Ave Maria home in Bartlett, TN. She spoke openly about how she felt when she was in The Green House homes, from the clean, warm environment, to the friendliness of the staff and the peaceful, content elders. She said that she never thought that there would be a place where she would feel comfortable bringing her mom to live, until visiting Ave Maria, and now she has hope that things can be different for people who need skilled care.
Because The Green House model centers around the elders, the staff is empowered to do whatever is necessary to create the best home possible, enabling a meaningful life for and with the elders.
Rose left the audience with these thoughts, “You are contributing a social impact, giving back to our communities in a way by providing better jobs for direct care staff, and a better quality of life for elders. It’s all about leadership, wise leadership requires passion, and when you lead with heart and soul, you make significant impacts.”
Thank you, Rose Flenorl, for speaking from the heart, through personal stories, professional experiences and wise words to help Green House organizations grow and stretch beyond our field and comfort zone.