another year in the life of shhh has sped by by lindash



The following article is reprinted from the September/October 2003 issue of Hearing Loss.

Message from the President of the Board

By Ann Liming

        Another year in the life of SHHH has sped by. Board members and staff are busy

advancing our mission and creating greater visibility for our organization. Without a doubt, those

of you who are active at the local and state levels are doing the same as you exercise your

leadership. I would like to pause for a moment to express my appreciation of those who have

gone before us and laid the foundation upon which we are building this great organization today.

It is impossible to name every individual, but by categories we have our founder, past executive

directors and staff, former Board members and presidents, and members from around the

country. None of us -- Terry Portis, current staff, Board members, or I, take the contributions of

these individuals lightly.

        I would like to reflect on our successful 2003 SHHH Convention in Atlanta. The local

organizing committee (LOC) and our staff worked very hard doing their parts to make the

convention a great experience for everyone. In addition, our many sponsors, the wonderful

presenters and exhibitors, the volunteers from across the country who worked with the LOC, the

team that assured us access to all events, and our volunteer CART providers, were all a big factor

in making the convention enjoyable and memorable. The people involved in arranging the

Research Symposium did an excellent job and their work is appreciated as well. If you were

there, your presence made the efforts of everyone worthwhile and you added your personal touch

to the experience. Thanks to everyone who had a part in planning the convention and

congratulations for your success!
       A very special part of the convention was the opportunity to host the president of the

Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA), Colin Cantlie, and the executive director of

CHHA, Janice McNamara. CHHA and SHHH have agreed to work together to improve

conditions for people with hearing loss in our two countries. Our commitment to one another

includes attendance at each other’s annual conventions. It was my privilege to represent you, the

SHHH membership, the staff and Board, at the CHHA annual conference held in Calgary this

past May. CHHA has many good programs and their members are passionate about their

organization. SHHH and CHHA would like to strengthen our relationship and will continue to

work together to do so. For more information about CHHA I encourage you to visit their website


       SHHH has many opportunities and possibilities to look forward to in the coming year.

Our staff and Board are committed to keeping you informed of our activities and programs. As

we move forward I would like to remind each of you of your importance to SHHH and to the

people you serve in your communities and state. No matter how big or how small we perceive

our parts to be, we all occupy a position of leadership in this organization.

       There are many books that offer theories on leadership and give us steps to becoming a

good leader. A few years ago, I stumbled upon a book about leadership that I have enjoyed. Its

message is simple and is one I strive to carry out. That doesn’t mean that other materials are not

helpful. It only means that this is the basis I want to build my own leadership skills on. Being

human, I miss the mark sometimes and I find it much easier to share the message than to practice

         The title of the book is, Leading With Soul – An Uncommon Journey of Spirit. The

authors, Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E. Deal, identify four gifts of leadership: authorship; love;

power; and, significance.

         Authorship is defined as “…the feeling of putting your own signature on your work. It’s

the sheer joy of creating something of lasting value. The feeling of adding something special to

our world.” Think about the things that you do in your sphere of leadership. It may be in a

chapter or state organization, or in your family or community. It may be to a large group of

people or to a single individual, but you have the opportunity of putting your signature on your

work and of giving others the opportunity to do the same.

         The second gift is love. The authors tell us that if we show people we don’t care, they

will return the favor. The gift of love involves finding ways to show others we care, and a big

part of this is finding out what really matters to another person. There are many ways we can

demonstrate love in the work we do for SHHH. I am not talking about gushy sentimentalism but

about caring for and about others. This is a gift that many people who are hard of hearing receive

little of.

         The third gift is power. The gift of power means we sometimes have to admit mistakes. It

involves listening, opening ourselves to the ideas of others and working together for success. The

authors tell us that we can give power away and wind up with more. This may be the most

difficult of the gifts to give away. Often it seems easier to do things ourselves but our motivation

may be misinterpreted and resentment can readily set in.

         The last gift, significance “…comes from working with others, doing something worth

doing, making the world better.” We confirm and deepen the feeling of significance through

celebrations. It is the glue that holds us together. When we experience significance for ourselves,
we long for others to experience it as well. And, as with the gift of power, when we give

significance to others, we wind up feeling more significant ourselves.

       Thank you for embracing your leadership role in SHHH. Remember, no matter how

important or unimportant your role may seem to you, it is of great importance to the

organization. Enjoy the gifts of your leadership, and enjoy giving them away to others.

Ann Liming is president of the SHHH Board of Trustees and lives in Landing, Michigan. She can

be reached at

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