Going First

by Patrick McNerthney—

Who is your leader? It’s highly likely you just thought of that person who is “above you” at work, the one you ask permission from, or whomever you report to. In other words, title and status define leadership. That’s what we’re educated and cultured to believe. 

But it’s not true! 

Leadership isn’t about rank, position, or authority. It’s about empowering others to achieve things they didn’t know were possible, by going first and taking actionNeed an example from my personal life? You bet you do! 

Back when I was young, spry and full of existential energy I decided to volunteer for my local fire department. The first week of the training academy was pretty miserable for me. I could keep up physically (barely) during the training drills, but I quickly noticed the other recruits had better mechanical sense – they were used to working with tools and heavy equipment. I was a barista, I knew how to make an Italian espresso machine sing that was about it. I felt overwhelmed.   

(Not useful when putting out fires.)

At the end of the second week a fellow recruit by the name of Tim Tatum grabbed me after class and said, “I’m organizing a group to practice some of the drills, want to come?”

Tim wasn’t in charge of anything. Maybe he felt as overwhelmed as I did, maybe not. But he knew the best way forward was together, so he went first, took action in the form of assembling our training group, and showed us possibility. Everyone who graduated from the academy did so because of leaders like Tim. 

So how can you go first and take action for the benefit of those under your care?  Fine Art Miracles can help. Our ART2GO packages (check out the December Featured lesson!) and Art Therapy  Sessions help foster feelings of self-worth, achievement and connection  for your residents through the magic of creative expression. 

We know as caregivers you see the whole puzzle – the elderly, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and children with challenges are extremely vulnerable as a result of social isolation from the pandemic. But you can help by going first, you can use our resources to empower these isolated populations to achieve things they might not know are possible…things you might not know are possible.Reach out to us any time, we’re happy to help talk you through all of our services, because truly, the best way forward is together.

(Not useful when putting out fires.)


Reach out to us any time, we’re a happy to help talk you through all of our services, because truly the best way forward is together.

Skip to content