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There is a life size statue of Samuel Finley Patterson standing in a prominent park in Roanoke Rapids, NC. He stands boldly beside the main fire station and across the street from the post office. The town offices use to be spittin’ distance too.

Sam and his brother, for the most part, are credited as the founding fathers of this town. Their success came through the creation and growth of textile mills.

You may have actually heard of this sleepy little town if you watched Sallie Field in the movie Norma Rae.

The mills, of course, are no longer here, but Janice and I raised our 5 kids in the very house that Sam built and died in, and it is still my wife’s dream home (mine too).

Sam is not unique in his success. Many men and women across the world have had a similar impact on their communities. But to me, the real question lies in how any person can have such a positive impact on a place that a statue is erected in their honor?

I believe it comes through nine key elements:

1. Tenacity

2. Care and Empathy

3. Accessibility

4. Coachability – both giving and receiving

5. Faith and Courage

6. Focus (it’s more important than intellect)

7. Believing in the “Art of the Possible”

8. The ability to make best choices

9. A hunger to learn

You may have a couple more that you’d like to add and I’d love to hear them. Regardless, go make a difference in your family, your business, and your community. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to have a street named after you, or even a statue!

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