Institute for Charitable Giving

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Life’s Compass

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A number of years ago Jerry Panas did a self-evaluation on “what passions drive your life. What do you stand for?” He added later: “I discovered my beliefs when I decided one day to put them into writing. A credo of sorts.”

After completion, he gave a copy to each staff member of the firm. His point was he wanted staff to know the kind of person “they are working with— strengths and weaknesses.”

With the extra time “afforded” to me by the pandemic in recent months, I took the opportunity to reflect once again on Jerry’s “This I Believe…”

Jerry strongly believed in Innovation. He said: “…creativity is of great significance in our work.” He had great expectations for himself and the staff “to eschew everything that is dull, motionless, backward looking. He advocated seeking, “new ways, new solutions.”

In all, Jerry’s effort resulted in twenty-six beliefs. He reminded staff and development officer alike that we may not agree with any of it. But remember— it’s my code of conduct, not yours.”

We have attached an essay he wrote, “Life’s Compass”. We hope it will be an impetus for you to prepare your own list of “passions that drive your life” for you, and your institution.

I found it to be very revealing, and an excellent use of my time. As Jerry admonished: “Dream the unthinkable, attempt the impossible. Be audacious. It is the magic of the idea that will lead your organization to victory.”

– Jerry A. Linzy 
Executive Partner, Emeritus
Jerold Panas, Linzy & Partners


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