Posted tagged ‘Love’

Tuesday Tidbit: Wanting vs. Needing to Hear

August 19, 2014

My recent retirement opened the floodgates for many heartfelt conversations and emails; often sharing gratitude for a long ago conversation that had a significant impact on the person involved. This feedback will be held closely and will inspire me as I move into my new future.

One such message went like this…

Do you remember when you sat me down to tell me that I better get my act together if I wanted to stay with the company?  I was a pretty high performer and thought I was “all that.” But, I was not living the “positive attitude” and “teamwork” values you preached.  You told me at one point that my attitude was going to get me in trouble.  Sure enough, I stirred the pot once too often and was placed on a warning for my behavior.

You took the time to schedule a meeting with me, reassuring me that the warning was not to push me out the door but, rather, to find a way to keep me on board. I was so nervous about that meeting! But, I found out for myself what others told me; you were meeting with me because you cared, not to lecture me.  You gave me a loud and clear message, though – attitude and respect matter. And, I mattered.

It was quickly clear to me that you were sincerely concerned about me and my succcess. Your message was hard for me to hear but it was what I needed to hear. You could have just moved on.  You didn’t. And, thanks to you, neither have I.

I’ve told that story to new employees when they joined the team.  I want them to know that leadership here really does care about them. Thank you for caring about me.

Telling someone what they need to hear, when the message is rooted in love, is not a difficult conversation; it is a necessary conversation. Helping someone grow to be their best self is what happens when we show that we care. And, caring is one of the roots of leadership, isn’t it?

Tuesday Tidbits are usually focused on leadership or teamwork, always positive and, hopefully, inspirational. Feel free to share with your team. Consider adding your own comment to let them know why you are sending it to them.

 

 

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Thank You Thursday inspired by our 35th anniversary

May 29, 2014

In a few days, my husband and I will celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. We have reached that point at which younger people ask, “What’s your secret?”

Wedding photoThere is no secret.

Two people. Love for each other. Shared commitment.

It’s that simple. It’s that complicated.

Today, I am thankful for 35 years of love and commitment between my husband and I.

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We had a simple church wedding with both a pastor and priest presiding (somewhat radical for the 70s!).  Our six readings provided the foundation for our life together, including the frequently used Corinithians 13:4-8 passage:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

The passage that was the basis of the Pastor’s medication that day was Colossians 3:12-17:

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

No, there is no secret.

Two people. Love for each other. Shared commitment.

It’s that simple. It’s that complicated.

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What are you thankful for?

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Thank You Thursday inspired by Mother’s Day

May 15, 2014

The gift that brings the most joy is not something that can be put in a box and tied up with a bow. The greatest gift is time.

For Mother’s Day this year, I was given exactly that. My children, their spouses, their children and their in-laws joined as at our home for brunch.  My husband suggested it and did most of the planning. We teamed up for some of the prep & then he did all the clean-up. It was a great morning with good people, good food and good conversation.

Today, I’m thankful for the gift of time.

Young Moms, especially, may enjoy a little pampering.  As hard as it is to raise children to adults, they deserve it.  (Year ’round, I might add.)  But the joy in that is that it really is a gift of time – time for themselves. Their focus is usually on the care and development of their children, often at the unfortunate sacrifice of their own self-care.  They might also be juggling another job outside the home, caring for parents, or volunteering in the community.  The gift of time for themselves truly is a great gift.

But, at my age, 50+, I am lucky enough to have the opportunity and the means so that if I need a little pampering, I can do that.  If I need new clothes, I buy them. If I want to eat out, we go. If I need a break, we plan a vacation.

What I can’t force, and what brings the most joy, is my family spending time with me.

I am thankful that they frequently do. We see them all several times a month, though not usually all together. Hearing about their week, plans they are making, job challenges and new opportunities is exciting. Listening to their opinions on world events, favorite sports teams or local news is interesting. Playing with our grandchildren and watching them grow week by week is priceless. Seeing the family that we raised now raising families of their own is wondrous. The gift of their time for me truly is a great gift.

My family gave me exactly what I hoped for on Mother’s Day. They gave me their time.

What are you thankful for?

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Thank you Thursday

April 10, 2014

An exciting adventure begins today as I travel to Chicago for the Extreme Leadership Summit. I’ve anticipated this event for a long time.  I can’t wait to get started.

Today, I’m thankful for the experience I’m about to enjoy.  

I hope I personally grow through the next few days. I hope I’ll learn more about inspirational leadership to help my team members grow to new heights as we face a challenging year ahead. Perhaps I’ll make some new like-minded friends, as well, so the inspiration continues well into the future.

I’ll share more on the other side of the weekend!

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What are you thankful for?

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Tuesday Tidbit inspired by Extreme Leadership

April 8, 2014

Friday through Sunday, I will be participating in the Extreme Leadership Summit in Chicago, facilitated by one of my favorite authors, Steve Farber.  One of Steve’s books, Greater Than Yourself (GTY), happens to be my favorite leadership fable.

I’m really looking forward to our jam-packed three days, learning from the diverse group of leaders who will share their experiences with us. A sampling includes Simon Billsberry (co-founder and former CEO of Kineticom), Darren Hardy (publisher of Success magazine), Frank DeAngelis (principal of Columbine High School), Jay Jay French (founder, manager and guitarist for Twisted Sister), and Tasha Eurich (author of Bankable Leadership). I’m sure there will also be great exchanges with the 79 other attendees.

I’ve been re-reading GTY to prepare for the experience.  Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

“Real leadership is not about calling yourself a “leader”; rather, it’s about taking up a cause to change some piece of the world for the better. Real leadership, in other words, is an extreme act rooted in love and motivated by a desire to create a better world – whether it’s the world of your company, team, neighborhood or family.”

“GTY is really just a form of very personal, one-on-one philanthropy… It’s about growing your sensibility to the needs of others and cultivating your desire to promote their welfare, their good or greater fortune, their success, their capacity for achievement.”

“The basic and seemingly paradoxical truth of GTY is that truly great leaders in life become so becasue they cause others to be greater than themselves.”

What can you do today to help someone be greater than you are?

Tuesday Tidbits are weekly messages I send to my leadership team. They are generally short & sweet, often focused on leadership or teamwork, always positive and, hopefully, motivational. I hope you also find some meaning in them.

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Thank you Thursday, Valentine’s edition

February 13, 2014

I love you.

Three very easy words to say.  Three very difficult words to say.

Today, I’m thankful for all the loving greetings that will be shared for Valentine’s Day.

What might be possible if we treated everyday like Valentine’s Day?  Not the giving of candy, flowers, gifts and cards (though that is nice every once in a while!), but the simple expressions of love.  The romance between husband and wife.  The hugs & kisses between parent and child, grandparent and grandchild.  The cute little “Will You Be Mine?” greetings between students and teachers and classmates. The extra courtesies that will be extended just because.

Imagine if all the love in the air tomorrow would still be enveloping us on Saturday, Sunday, Monday…

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What are you thankful for?

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Tuesday Tidbit inspired by Valentine’s Day

February 11, 2014

Do you love the people you work with?  The people you lead?

You might be thinking, “Oh, there she goes again, all that Encourage the Heart stuff.” Or, “Love at work? Can’t I get fired for that?”

Some terrific business authors have written great books about loving the people you lead.  Don’t be fooled; it’s not all rainbows and butterflies.  Sometimes, love can be tough.  Sometimes, love needs to be tough.  Helping people be the very best version of themselves is a daunting responsibility and a loving toughness is required.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, love is certainly in the air.  In that spirit, here are several tidbits about leadership and love.

Real leadership, in other words, is an extreme act rooted in love and motivated by a desire to create a better world – whether it’s the world of your company, team, neighborhood, or family. –Steve Farber, “Greater Than Yourself”

I want to encourage you to love your people.

Who are your people? Everyone who is important to you…your family…your friends…your colleagues…your customers, patietns, team, students.

And love? It’s care.

And care? It’s attention and contribution (what you give, what you do). It’s kindness, patience, generosity, truth. It’s encouraging, apologetic, forgiving, and thankful.  –Sam Parker, GiveMore.com

You have got to love your people more than your position. –John Maxwell, The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader

And at the heart of leadership is caring. Without caring, leadership has no purpose. And without showing others that you care and what you care about, other people won’t care about what you say or what you know. As a relationship, leadership requires a connection between leaders and their constituents over matters, in the simplest sense, of the heart. It is personal and it is interpersonal. –Jim Kouzes, Barry Posner, Encouraging The Heart

Hope your Valentine’s Day is filled with love; even at work! Especially at work!

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Tuesday Tidbits are weekly messages I send to my leadership team. They are generally short & sweet, often focused on leadership or teamwork, always positive and, hopefully, motivational. I hope you also find some meaning in them.

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Thank you Thursday

August 29, 2013

Over the last thirty hours or so, I’ve been contemplating the word grace.  In an email to me yesterday, someone expressed gratitude for “always treating [her] with grace.” Her kind comment stuck with me, but I wasn’t quite sure exactly how to process it.  

The term grace is not commonly used outside of a religious setting or theological conversation. What does it mean to treat someone with grace?  How do we treat others with grace?

Today, I am thankful for the people in my life who have treated me with grace.

With research and reflection, I’ve found the following:

Grace is when we are treated lovingly, even when aren’t loving.

Grace is when others are kind to us, even when we aren’t kind to them.

Grace is when compassion is offered where retaliation might have been earned.

Grace is when we are forgiven even when we don’t acknowledge wrongdoing.

Grace is the possibility of peace.

Grace is love revealed.

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What are you thankful for?

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Thank you Thursday

June 27, 2013

It’s been quite the week in our family!  While we were all looking forward to the birth of our new grandson at the end of July, he had other ideas and arrived on Sunday.

Welcome, baby.Today, I am thankful for the healthy delivery of this beautiful baby boy, and the emergency care that our daughter received from LifeFlight and the medical team at an out of town hospital.

While the story of his arrival will be the stuff of family legend, the most important thing is that Baby is healthy and beautiful and we can’t wait for him to come home.  

It is wonderful to see our daughter and son-in-law  interacting with Baby.  They are gentle, loving, and a beautiful sight to behold.  They are blessed by Baby’s presence in their lives. Baby is blessed by his parents.

The reason for Baby’s early arrival may always remain a mystery.  I like to think that maybe he was just ready to get this life started. I can’t wait to see him grow through all the possibilities the world has to offer.

Welcome, baby.

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What are you thankful for?

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Thank You Thursday

May 23, 2013

Monday marks one year since a much beloved co-worker suddenly passed away.  It’s hard to believe that a year has gone by already.

During the normal course of work, I occasionally come across messages I still have from Leslie – a note, a card, an email with a few words of support and appreciation. While cleaning up some company historical records recently, I came across several photos of her that made me smile.

Leslie and I were different in many ways, but we cherished our common bonds of a being part of the company’s earliest history, our commitment to the founder’s vision, and love of our team members.  Our most frequent non-work topic of conversation involved stories of our children; we each had a boy and a girl, though mine were much older than hers! We were both very proud Moms.

While there may be a twinge of sadness as these memories pop up, there is always heart-warming as I briefly reflect on them.

Last year I wrote a gratitude post about her “really good spirit.

Today, I am thankful that Leslie’s really good spirit lives on.

I got an email from a co-worker yesterday who noted the upcoming anniversary, stating simply, “I miss her terribly!”

At a neighborhood event last night, another co-worker shared a story about one of her peers who brought a 2013 devotional calendar over to her yesterday.  The message for the 27th, the anniversary of Leslie’s passing, was about missing a friend.

I suspect that the next few days will bring more such remembrances.  They will be framed in both tears and smiles.  As I shared with the woman who sent me the email yesterday, “I miss her often, too.  You know what that’s a sign of?  Love.”  

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What are you thankful for?


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