The Lamplighter

Throughout our years of leadership development work, we have been privileged to meet and get to know a lot of wonderful people. One of our many friends and fellow Leadership Challenge travelers, Roy Yarbrough, sent us the following, as he announced his retirement from his current position. My guess is he will never retire from helping others become better leaders in all aspects of their lives. When I asked Roy if we could share this, he was quick to agree – and just as quick to point out that he was not the original source. Source or not, we can validate that Roy is indeed a role model of the message.

Hope you enjoy this as much as we did.

During the 1800’s, one of the key occupations in London was the lamplighter. It was the lamplighter’s purpose to travel the city and light the many coal and gas lamps that illuminated the streets. Rarely was the lamplighter seen, but his work was obvious. He left a stream of lights that showed the path he followed and lit the way for all he served. He went about his duties regardless of weather and without complaint.

I want to wish all of you the life of the lamplighter. May you leave a light for everyone you touch and may you do it with caring and love. If you can be a lamplighter to those you touch, your life, and theirs, will be richer beyond imagination. You have been lamplighters for me and I hope in some small way, I’ve been one for you.

From spiritual references, to the practicality of simply helping others see more clearly, light is indeed an powerful concept for leaders. We hope you will take up the call Roy is wishing for us, as you continue your quest of making a difference, during 2013.

Thanks Roy, for your inspiring reminder to all. Over the years, you have indeed provided an illuminated path for a countless number of people to follow. All the best to you in the next chapter of your life.


  1. Robyn Hildal says:

    Steve – thanks for sharing the wisdom Roy offered. No matter who authored this piece, its message is powerful. It also reinforces the power of the vision of The E. W. Scripps Company: Give light and the people will find their own way.


    Robyn Hildal

    • Thanks for the comments. Illuminating a path forward is a powerful message. Hope all those at your company are reminded by the importance of what they do. Take care.

  2. Matt Curry says:

    Roy’s comments parallel an experience I just had. A dear friend was killed last week in Newport Beach, CA. He was a husband, dad, friend, doctor and devout man. The impact he had on those who knew him is similar to the lamplighter- he illuminated the way and made everyone’s life brighter. Even though I don’t believe he had been trained in the Leadership Challenge, he practiced the 5 exemplary practices of leadership. He was especially adept in Model the Way and Encourage the Heart. During a service that was attended by 1000+ mourners, the message was one of inspiration and hope. The eulogist suggested his memory be honored by those in attendance doing something that would make Dr. Gilbert proud. In doing so, his life will cause a ripple effect that should impact others exponentially.

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