“Or, I could be the better person…” – My daughter, Amanda Wright
These were the seven words my daughter said to me, words that immediately stopped the conversation and left all of the adults in the car in a shameful silence – literally!!! Not a single one of us had a good response to these prophetic words.
My daughter’s comments came following advice we parents had given her about ‘getting even’ and ‘setting things straight’. You see, my daughter had been the victim of hurtful behavior from one of her friends. The type of behavior and comments you know aren’t true. Meant only to make someone else look better or to manipulate the situation. It was the behavior that so often occurs with teenagers.
As parents, it’s easy to get caught up in the motion of a situation like this. Your first reaction is to come to the side of your child – to defend them – to set things straight. “Do the same thing to her,” we suggested. “Let her know how it feels.”
“Or, I could be the better person…”, she replied.
If only we had the wisdom of a child. The perspective they can bring to such a situation. The ability to put aside our feelings and draw upon the principles and values we were taught at such a young age. I marvel at the clarity in which they can often bring to such events. Continue reading →
“Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength.” – Anonymous
“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.” – Anne Lamott
Today’s message is one of courage and perspective. It is a message that will both tug at your heart yet inspire you. It’s a message of perspective, and how things can change in an instant. It’s a message that no amount of planning can prepare you for what life might throw your way. But it is also a message to recognize the strength we all have inside us – if we only knew how to tap in to it. Continue reading →
“There is no greatness without a passion to be great, whether it’s the aspiration of an athlete or an artist, a scientist, a parent, or a businessperson.” – Tony Robbins
“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.” – Field Marshal Ferdinand Foch
“One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested.” – E. M. Forster
“As far as customers are concerned you are the company. This is not a burden, but the core of your job. You hold in your hands the power to keep customers coming back, perhaps even to make or break the company.” – Unknown
I write this week’s leadership message as I sit in a sidewalk café in Paris people watching and passing the time with my family. A once-in-a-lifetime vacation, I was able to bring my wife, daughter, and father- and mother-in-law with me on a tour through Europe. First Spain – to visit the home of my wife’s ancestors. Then Rome – to honor their Catholic upbringing and welcome in the new Pope. And finally Paris – a chance to see the city of love. One of the most beautiful cities in the world. And since my in-laws speak fluent French (at least the “Cajun” kind), this was an opportunity for them to ‘speak the local language’ in a foreign country. For them, this is a trip they would never have imagined taking. But thanks to my frequent flier miles and a bit of saving, my wife and I were able to treat them to this ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ trip. Continue reading →
“As I grow to understand life less and less, I learn to love it more and more.” – Jules Renard
“Life isn’t a matter of milestones, but of moments.” – Rose Kennedy
“Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before, how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever.” – Isak Dinesen
“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln
Life. What a beautiful thing…only darkened by the tragedy that is often ends far too soon. How does it go? The good die young. Those we love most are often taken from us at the most inappropriate time. Life is fleeting. Life is short. It gives, and it takes away. Continue reading →
“You spend a lot of time thinking about what to do when the time comes. I kept asking up above what was working. You needed a hole, you needed people to help you out.”
[Danica Patrick – comments from her Daytona 500 post race interview when asked about her strategy on the last lap]
Unless you haven’t picked up a paper or watched the TV this last week, you no doubt heard the headlines about this year’s Daytona 500. It was the first time in history that a female driver won the pole position for any NASCAR race. But this wasn’t just any NASCAR race – it was the Daytona 500, their most coveted event. Because of this, the hype for this year’s race was bigger than any other in history. Continue reading →
“Your strength will not come from your place on some org chart, but from building trust and earning respect.” – Sheryl Sandberg, COO Facebook
“I’m an employee of Costco that just HAPPENS to oversee the wine category” – Annette Alvarez-Peters
I would guess that many of you have heard of or are members of Costco. My wife and I are members of Costco, and I would venture to say that we spend more money at Costco than at any other single retailer we frequent. We purchase everything from electronics and appliances, to groceries and other staples, to clothing, and even some large purchases like furniture. For those of you who are members, you’ll smile fondly when I describe the experience of wandering through a Costco, nibbling on their samples, and seeing what new products they have to offer this week. But my favorite thing to buy at Costco is wine…they have a fairly good selection of wine at some of the best prices I’ve ever seen. And I do so love my wine! Continue reading →
“Thanks Dad. The party was cool.” – Amanda Wright
(OK, maybe she didn’t actually say this, but I’m sure she thought it) 😉
This past weekend was my daughter’s 13th birthday party. She and four of her best friends celebrated their ‘coming of age’ with a huge birthday bash for 100 of their closest friends. Forget the traditional parties where you have 8 to 10 of your closest friends over for cake and a magic show with Bozo the Clown. This is something entirely different.
So, as the trend goes (at least in the area of Houston we live in), throughout their 7th grade school year the girls and guys pack up in groups of 3-5 and host ‘13th Birthday’ parties for almost their entire grade level. The parents hire a DJ, rent out the local community or recreation center, and decorate like there’s no tomorrow. All for three hours of 13-year-old ‘partying’. Continue reading →
“I believe that being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.” [Zig Zigler]
I often stress the importance of work/life balance to my fellow team mates. So for this leadership thought posting, I thought I would feature that concept. And, given that we are deep in the middle of the summer holiday season and now in the middle of a holiday week (July 4th) whose Wednesday calendar placement seems to have given many of us the opportunity for a very long weekend break, this quote is perfect. And of all of the quotes I’ve seen about work/life balance, this one seems to put it all in the right perspective.
I’ve often used my leadership thought posting to impart some wisdom around how to be a better leader in all aspects of life. Clearly many of my past entries have focused around the importance of leadership in managing your teams, in working with your teammates, and in servicing your clients. Make no mistake, it is important for you to build a company of leaders that are known for the quality of their work and the character of their team.
But it is also important to seek a balance in the order of things. Much like the Tao religion/philosophy that seeks harmony with the yin and yang in all things, we aren’t going to be productive or effective in work if we aren’t at harmony with the other aspects of our life. Our health. Our family. Our friends. Our interests. These are all important as well.
OK, maybe that’s getting a little too deep for this week’s message, but you get the picture.