Thoughts on Life & Leadership

A Junto Strategy Project

It Couldn’t Be Done & Dr. Barry Black

Rev. Barry BlackLast week, I enjoyed a fantastic three-day session with my Pepperdine organizational leadership colleagues in DC. One of the highlights of that trip was a session with Reverend Barry Black, who is the current US Senate Chaplain. It was for me a very inspiring and thought-provoking session. He shared two key nuggets that have been a real game changer for me (I’ll talk about the second one in another post).

The first nugget was a poem. I’m not a big poetry guy, but in the context of his remarks this poem really resonated with me and I thought it was worth sharing. Part of the power of the poem was the messenger, Reverend Black, who seemed to perfectly embody the words of the poem. Here is the poem written by Edgar Albert Guest:

 

It Couldn’t Be Done

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
      But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
      Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
      On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it!
Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
      At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
      And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
      Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it.
There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
      There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
      The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
      Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
      That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

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