Dear Son, Words of Wisdom #2


Dear Son,
Nothing says you care like being there.
Love, Dad

Several years ago, I received a call from my Uncle that I had not spoken to in years letting me know that my Grandmother died. I thanked him for letting me know and asked him to let everyone know that I wished I could be there. I hung up the phone and sat in silence.

It had been about 10 years since I last visited my Grandmother on my father side.  So this made the news a mixture of sadness and regret. Surely I could not just leave work and drive all the way down to Florida and show up in a group of people I had not visited with in years. Surely no one expected me to do that.

I talked to a friend at work, and he enlightened me on the importance of actually being there…actually showing up. He was a pastor in his former life and told me of the impact that a person’s physical presence makes. He said something like, “You can pretend to care, but you can’t pretend to be there.”

So I searched the Internet and found out when and where the funeral was being held. I made the trip and pulled into the driveway of my Grandparents house where all the family was gathering before the funeral. I took a deep breath and walked in. It was like I had been around them my whole life. It was a great time of connecting and showing my respect. It had a much greater impact on me and them than sending flowers.

Your life will be full of choices. People and forces will pull you in many directions.  Make sure that you make time for the people you care about. Take the energy to physically be present at the place and around the people you care about. Also focus on being emotionally and mentally present when you are around the people you care about. Do not be distracted by devices and people that can rip you from what you truly care about. Remember, nothing says you care like being there.

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Dear Son, Words of Wisdom #1

dearson1Dear Son,
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.

Thus begins my journey of passing on words of wisdom to my oldest son.  This journey began after listening to my son prepare a speech for school.  The topic was Robert E. Lee.  He was an interesting character, but that is not what reached out and grabbed me by the throat.

As my son read his speech, he gave two quotes.  The quotes where good, but that is not what shook me.  Both quotes were letters from Robert E. Lee to his son.  The fact that this form of delivery of wisdom from father to son grabbed by sons attention…grabbed my attention.

The impact of words of wisdom being intentionally delivered from father to son is both amazing and absent from modern parenting.  

Look through history and you will find excellent examples of heroes and leaders throughout the ages formally passing on their wisdom.  Look in the Bible and you will find the greatest example as Solomon passes his wisdom to his son in the book of Proverbs.

I do not want to miss my opportunity to positively affecting my son and help equip him for the road ahead. I plan to give him one hand-written card (word of wisdom) each week. I will also write a story or commentary for each card and post it on my blog. I hope that the card will serve as a point of reference as he walks through life.

So I begin my journey.  Maybe other fathers will join me.

Ancient Secrets For Today’s Leaders – The Shepherd’s Staff

The ancient shepherds have some secrets that today’s leaders should pay attention to.  I discovered 4 secrets that served them well and I endeavor to make them a part of my daily work life.

“Know well the condition of your flock, and give attention to your herds, for riches do not last forever, and a crown does not last for all generations.” Proverbs 27:23-24

Louis Robbe (1806–1887) Schafherde in hügeliger Landschaft.

1.    Know Your Flock
Know your flock.  Know the people that you manage and are responsible for.  Know their names.  Find out about their family.  Discover what motivates them.

Let your flock know you.  Be transparent about your life (I don’t mean share everything).

2.    Be There!
Nothing says you care like being there.  Every day I take a slow walk around our 60,000 square foot facility.  It is not because I need the exercise…although it doesn’t hurt.  It let’s the employees know that I care about what is going on.  I walk slowly so that they can share their concerns or celebrate their victories.

3.    Lead
Lead by example.  Demonstrate how you want your employees or other managers to act.  Participate when things are in crisis.

Give clear direction.  Let them know your expectations.

Give constructive correction.  Let them know when they are not meeting expectations, but give them steps and advice on how to get there.

4.    Protect
Keep the flocks best interest in mind.  It is your job to make sure that the flock is in a safe and nurturing environment.  Make sure the work areas are safe.  Make sure they are prepared for emergencies.  Give them the training and resources they need to succeed.  Make sure that you are managing the company in such a way that they can be productive and have a since of accomplishment.

Without your flock you are not a shepherd.
Without your followers you are not a leader.