Rick Sperling – Creating Something Out of Nothing . . . But a Dream


I have always been most humbled and most inspired by a certain kind of leadership.  These leaders get me energized.  They make me think anything is possible.  They make me start to think about what I could do that I’m not doing.  I’ve seen these leaders in the political sphere, as well as the domains of business and of social change.  And last night, along with my family I watched just such a leader in the field of the arts and of social change.  His name is Rick Sperling, and he founded the Mosaic Youth Theater of Detroit.

Rick created something out of nothing.

At the newly renovated Detroit Film Theater inside the nearly, completely renovated Detroit Institute of Arts, Rick’s troupe of 40 or so Detroit high school students completely wowed that packed theater with their performance of Rick’s original musical, Now That I Can Dance.  15 years ago Rick had the vision of young people in Detroit having a place to perform musically and theatrically at a world-class level, and now quite simply they do it.  They have performed internationally, played at the White House, and now year after year recruit and train and graduate wonderfully talented young people. It started with the dream, continued with impoverished sacrifice and extraordinary passion, and then spread to hundreds of people whose fires of hope were lit by Rick’s enthusiasm.

What could you create out of nothing?

Perhaps you have a big dream like Rick’s. Will you end up 70 or 80 years old and wonder, “what would’ve happened if I gave it a try?”  So why not give it a try?  Perhaps you have simpler vision.  You think your department could work much better.  You see yourself changing the life of a child as a big brother or big sister.  You’ve thought about adoption.  You have an idea for a company, a book, or writing a song (at the center of Rick’s historical musical is the wonder of a 19-year-old girl who wrote a song in two days time which became Motown’s first number one single).

A dream or vision is a serious thing.  If there is one in your soul, protect it, play with it (or pray with it), give it just a little room to breathe.  Perhaps wonder most of all: am I here to create the reality of the vision, or is it possible that the vision is here to create the true reality of me?

Rick Sperling invites us all to ask questions that would really lead us to

Lead with our best selves,