Four Simple Words was launched by Curt Hammond in March 2020 to mark a significant birthday milestone and share his grandmother’s wisdom with the world. The Four Simple Words community is on a journey to explore what it means to be in service to others. You can learn more about Curt here.
Turns out, it is not as straight-forward as we first thought and, in fact, needs a new way of approaching the idea of service. To help meet that need, Four Simple Words has launched the idea of Service Leadership and now wants to hear your thoughts on it. Our goal is to share practical tools that will empower leaders from all walks of life.
As his accountant likes to remind him on a very regular basis, no. Not yet anyway. All the time and effort that have gone into launching Four Simple Words have been driven by a very personal calling to share Elsie’s wisdom with the world. As he continues to learn with and from the Four Simple Words community, Curt plans/hopes/dreams that he will be able to find a way to share the gifts of Service Leadership with a wide and diverse audience. If that also creates opportunities to generate income, Curt’s wife will be very happy to hear it.
Elise McBride was Curt Hammond’s grandmother. She was born in 1903 in Smith Falls Ontario and raised her family with her husband Clifford in Kingston. Elsie was a strong, compassionate and brilliant woman and opened Curt’s mind so much great thinking. She was super cool proven by the fact that she let Curt drive an actual car before he had his 365! #Rebel Elsie first shared her four simple words with Curt on one of his many summer visits in Kingston and while he didn’t know it at the time, they had a profound impact on his life. Four Simple Words is Curt’s effort to share Elsie’s wisdom with the world.
In traditional leadership learning we hear the word model a lot, which is very prescriptive and usually does not allow for much flexibility. We have borrowed the word platform from the tech sector as we hope that the core tenets of Service Leadership is something that each of us can use to look after ourselves, support those around us and inspire meaningful change. All at the same time.
The debate on this one rages on: do contractions count as one word or two? We have intentionally used it’s to help simplify our story and they roll off the tongue better than It Is Not About Me. Curt never got the chance to ask Elise if she felt it was a four or five-word statement and as a former English teacher passionate about handwritten letters she’d likely have an opinion! We are going with four simple words (branding and all). But if you feel five is better and are still embracing the core tenets of service leadership that is all good. You do you.
We are grateful for the input and sharing the Four Simple Words has collected from our Forums, Dialogues, conversations and other now at ThePowerOf.FourSimpleWords.ca All of this input is filtered, collated and reflected on by Curt to build and grow the Four Simple Words movement. Through all this listening, Curt has acted as a champion and steward to the sharing and has certainly added his own personal thoughts resulting in the idea of Service Leadership. Any ideas or concepts that we collect at FourSimpleWords.ca and ThePowerOf.FourSimpleWords.ca will be added to this thinking and shared with the world through all our marketing tools and Curt’s speaking.
We hope the next phase of our learning about what it means to be in service to others will come from partnerships we can make with others to look at specific topics that are relevant to different communities. That may include deep dives into different sector or community specific research, academic reviews or additional community engagement. Work that is done in partnership with other groups will be a common effort and any output from those projects will be clearly identified and used by all involved organizations.