If you ever feel hopeless, think about Candace Lightner. You may not know her name but you know her impact – she’s the mom who started Mothers Against Drunk Driving in 1980 as a response to her 13-year old daughter being killed by a repeat offender. Lightner mobilized other moms on a 40-year crusade that is credited with reducing deaths caused by drunk drivers by 50%.

Moms are a formidable force in our lives as well as in the statehouse. MADD’s lobbying efforts are responsible for raising the minimum drinking age, promoting the designated driver program, increasing the legal blood alcohol limit and enacting zero-tolerance laws. They have become a force to be reckoned with in part because they have put names and pictures to the statistics, making the horror of drunk driving real for those with the power to impact legislation.

Moms are always giving us good advice and here are two more pieces of it: 1) One person is all it takes to start a movement that has made a significant, national difference – it could be you, and 2) use stories and visuals to bring your message to life. Moms changed your driving habits; let them change your advocacy habits, too.


I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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