Leaders and doers driving social good

Team Member

Lindsay Fass Graham

A human tornado of enthusiasm, optimism, and the unbridled impulse to do good.
—Bruce Musgrave

“She never puts a limit on the knowledge, practices, or insights she shares; instead, she trusts that sharing such knowledge will only lead to more good for all involved.”—Stephanie Kromash Baum

From Stephanie Kromash Baum:

For as long as I’ve known her, Lindsay has been a tireless champion of guidance, learning, and social good. She is at once cheerful and doggedly determined to accomplish whatever task is at hand. She has profound marketing knowledge and absolutely no fear when it comes to asking for anything—whether she’s seeking information, requesting that a task be completed, or just asking someone about him- or herself. That’s a specific and tremendous asset to have in the marketing world. Lindsay has mastered it with grace, because she balances making requests with expressing gratitude, so that whoever responds to her requests feels as though they’ve just made her day! I think it’s this seemingly simple practice—consistent expressions of gratitude—that is one of the secrets of her great success, and also one of the biggest reasons so many people like and respect her. It’s because she makes them feel good about themselves.

This mindful practice of gratitude is not a new concept to me, but since Lindsay and I began working together—first in small business marketing and then to create Mentor Engine—I’ve had ample opportunity to experience and understand for myself how powerful a motivator someone’s gratitude can be. It’s a practice to which I commit in my own interactions each day; something I believe in paying forward.

Lindsay’s guidance to me in the area of marketing has been pivotal to my own success in this area. When we first discussed working together, she had been almost singlehandedly managing the marketing for several medical and dental practices, and had reached a point at which she needed someone to take over writing and editing. As I dove in and began working, I learned plenty about marketing. More importantly, I realized that every time Lindsay and I spoke, I heard her mention the importance of employing best practices in everything we did, from large, involved marketing projects to everyday tasks as simple as sending email. She didn’t demand; rather, she always explained patiently why doing something according to a commonly accepted best practice would save us time and make our jobs easier. Who doesn’t want those things? Lindsay instilled in me the idea of employing best practices that were already known, and of immediately asking the question, “Is there actually a best practice for this?” when I would encounter a new task. Because I was receiving excellent guidance, it didn’t take long for me to shift from simply writing and editing to taking the initiative with various client marketing projects. Because I was so keenly attuned to proceeding according to best practices, I felt confident in what I was doing. And because Lindsay is always generous and timely with feedback and constructive criticism, I always felt supported.

In this area, as in others, Lindsay’s guidance reflects the true spirit of mentoring. She never puts a limit on the knowledge, practices, or insights she shares; instead, she trusts that sharing such knowledge will only lead to more good for all involved. In short, she pays it forward in the truest sense of the expression. I feel fortunate to work with her as a colleague and am very proud to call her my friend.

 

“A human tornado of enthusiasm, optimism, and the unbridled impulse to do good.” —Bruce Musgrave

 

Intro written by Bruce Musgrave, BA and MAT Cornell University, Lindsay’s 10th-grade Critical Reading and Writing teacher, 11th-grade independent study mentor (on Simple and Direct by Jacques Barzun). Remember the teacher in Dead Poets Society played by Robin Williams? Bruce is of that caliber.

Before retiring in Asheville, NC, Bruce served as the Assistant Head of School for Academics at Palmer Trinity School in Miami, FL. His 46 years in administration, teaching, and coaching resulted in 46 cohorts of graduates who admire him, and many of them, including Lindsay, hire him for editing refinements. When not tending his beautiful Asheville property with his wife of 47 years, Bruce provides custom copy editing services.

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Storm chasers everywhere would do well to follow, study, and learn from the whirlwind of activity generated daily by that human tornado of enthusiasm, optimism, and the unbridled impulse to do good—Lindsay Fass Graham. Let the buyer beware: getting too close to this funnel cloud may result in the onlooker’s being swept upward in the vortex of energy, usefulness, and benevolence.

The utter embodiment of empowering leadership, Lindsay does not delegate so much as perpetually collaborate. Under her leadership, subordinates occupy inordinately critical positions; assistants are endlessly assisted by their nominal supervisor; they are liberated to become the best versions of their professional selves they can become, to provide better care to their clients; workers find their ostensible boss to be more their facilitator in performing their duties.

As entrepreneur, Lindsay shreds and sheds ineffective routine, and she never found an algorithm she couldn’t improve—and improve again—until it runs more smoothly, serves its users more helpfully, to satisfy the needs of their clients more faithfully. Every search engine can yield more optimal results—both for the searcher and the server sought. She regards every enterprise as a signature of the entrepreneur, and she believes the calligraphy can become more elegant, streamlined, and satisfying to behold.

As a promoter, Lindsay advances only superficially events or causes. At her core, she always promotes instead people—championing their strengths in ways that others can appreciate, showcasing what they have to offer, opening enriching prospects for their clients and themselves, connecting them to others for their mutual benefit, and conducing to their growth and welfare in myriad ways—both large and small, conspicuous and behind the scenes, conscious and intuitive.

As an artist (whether as photographer or fellow traveler on the road of life), she favors forever “seeing the world with a fresh eye,” distinguishing elusive beauty, and taking solace in knowing that anything can look better through the right lens. She knows well that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” that “nature always wears the colors of the spirit,” and that one is “whatever one thinks about all day long.” Accordingly, with Rumi, she chooses to “live life as if everything is rigged in [her] favor.”

As a human being, she wears no smiley face, pasted on. Her deep smile comes from the seat of her being. “Happy-perky” types feign glee and energy, seeking to manufacture “infectious enthusiasm”—as though it were an ailment; Lindsay seeks rather to cure us all for good by generating authentic joy, delight, faithful service, and caring in a world sorely indisposed to do so. Simply, directly, she helps her clients better see the very things they may have seen so much that they ceased to be seen at all. She is MentorEngine’s founder.