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Rey: New leaders bringing their passion

We have all met those individuals who seem to live their life with a passion. They have enthusiasm and zest for engaging other people.

Maureen Zappala, an inspirational speaker and presentation coach, knows that when our passions direct us to a purpose, and our purpose engages other people, we begin to live at high altitude.

“Too often, we are supersonic people living subsonic lives,” Zappala said. “Supersonic living is not about setting the world on fire, making a lot of money, or gaining a lot of fame. It is about a deep, penetrating joy that comes from living right smack in the middle of passion, being aware of the power that comes from engaging with people.”

We can look around our community and identify a local project that benefits others. There are tremendous benefits in giving back, getting involved and living with a passion for a specific purpose. We take the focus off ourselves and think about the needs of others. As we reflect on those areas of need, we are able to give energy and time to help reach the potential in helping our fellow citizens.

There are many individuals stepping into leadership roles in our communities – police chief, fire chief, high school principal, chamber of commerce staff, teachers, among others. We see these people come into our lives with enthusiasm and energy to make a difference. It is good to see them settle into their work.

We are challenged to step forward and engage with people who are professionally competent in their respective disciplines. They are friendly and personable, engaging others to join in a mission to contribute positively to the community. They are good conversationalists who listen with empathy to the experiences of others and identify those activities and methods that make them good leaders of influence.

We have felt separation as many leaders from this community have moved on to other opportunities in their lives. Now is the time for the individuals new in their roles to exhibit and perform to the best of their abilities. I am encouraged to meet these new leaders and learn of their skills as we move forward.

A positive future lies within reach. We all have an opportunity to apply our passion to activities with other people and contribute in a positive way to fulfill needs in the community.

It takes more than one individual to make a successful impact on the outcomes of an organization. It takes a creative leader to surround himself with good team members and offer the opportunity to contribute to the results we can all enjoy.

This takes ability to focus on the purpose of the organization and place skilled individuals in positions to contribute positively to the actions that make a difference. Change is unsettling and often meets with resistance to maintain the things with which we are most comfortable. Stepping out of the comfort zone of the status quo can present new experiences.

There are new facilities to serve the community. I encourage everyone to seek those activities that will contribute to success in helping new leaders take their respective organizations to performance levels that provide strong outcomes to our community setting.

The mayor, city manager and police chief will be giving a presentation this week on issues affecting the city of DeKalb. Let’s all think about how we can participate in making the future a brighter place and work on those passions with a purpose. We will be in a better place as a result.   

• John Rey lives in DeKalb and is retired from DeKalb Ag/Monsanto. He also has been employed with AXA Financial and Family Service Agency. He continues as an active community volunteer in several organizations. You may contact him at

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