Tuesday, March 2, 2010


"You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star." - Nietzsche

In our Star-crazed culture, many people want to become a star, but few people actually do.

There are many famous SuperStars such as Martin Luther King, Benjamin Franklin and Mother Theresa, but consider a street newspaper vendor in Seattle, named Willie Jones, who is an everyday SuperStar.

Willie sells copies of Real Change, a newspaper whose mission is to end poverty and homelessness. All of the paper vendors who sell the newspaper do so as a way to recover from homelessness, addiction and poverty. Paper vendors are located throughout the city on street corners and high-traffic areas, but Willie stands apart from all of them.

While some paper vendors focus on the sympathies of others to sell their papers, Willie approaches his job differently. Wanting to make a positive impact on others, Willie tosses papers in the air and catches them. He gives his infectious smile to everyone as he waves to people, tells jokes, laughs and has conversations with his regular customers. With his innovative approach, it’s no surprise that Willie far outsells papers over any other paper vendor. Willie is truly extraordinary.

What’s more, Willie is a positive catalyst to others.

One of Willie’s customers’ daughters said this about him, “Because of Willie, my mom has really been involved in the world today, and I’m super grateful. I’ve never met Willie, nor saw (him), nor did I even hear about Real Change, (the paper he sells) so I’m going in blind when I say, I fully support anything Willie is involved in just because of the lives he’s changed (Real Change, 2009).”

Willie's energizing spirit has impacted those he touches and rippled out to others.

Willie is a SuperStar because his own self-leadership; not because of any perk, benefit or training program he received from his company to engage and motivate him.

Instead, Willie has used the experiences of his life to give birth to his own dancing star.

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