I heard some fantastic news today. I am not going to name names as to protect the innocent, but I had to talk about it. There is someone in my network that I consider a mentor and someone I look up to. He is absolutely capping off an incredible year!
The story starts with me as a very young and naive consultant. I knew that I had some knowledge and passion to do the job right, but I was very new. I was given a very exciting assignment to help an organization create service level agreements and standard operating procedures. I had done this before for other organizations, but this one was a definite challenge. In fact, for many of you that have heard me speak before, some of my favorite stories that I tell came from this engagement. This was the first time I met this man. He challenged me, made me laugh, but above all, he showed me how to lead with integrity by example. At the end of the engagement, there were some tough decisions that had to be made. There were a couple of people on the staff that were not in the right positions to make them successful, there were some changes that needed to be made internally, and there were some political decisions. As the suggestions were offered, this man grilled me from every angle to ensure that we had uncovered everything. I then watched him make some tough decisions. Additionally, I was able to watch him act on the decisions. What I learned was to always put people first. Always take care of those around you and they will in turn take care of you.
For the next several years, we kept in touch. I became a resource for him that he would reach out to from time to time. Better yet, we became friends. I told this man that anytime, anywhere, I would come work for him. I got the chance not too long ago. However, the organization that I had fought for 10 years to become a part of was changing, and it was changing in a way that didn't match the direction I was heading. I also saw the organization leaving the values that had made it so great. My suspicions were confirmed when shortly after I left, they laid off two of the most ethical men that I had ever known. My friend was one of those. On top of that, his wife was diagnosed with cancer. My heart ached for him. What do you do? What do you say? How do you help? In the greatest of trials for him, he never lost his faith. He never lost what made him so special to everyone that knows him.
I heard today that this mentor that I think of so highly just landed a very nice position at a company that is exactly the organization that he can thrive in. In addition, his wife just had a scan after treatment and the cancer is in remission. I got a chance to talk to my friend today and I can't help but think back and smile. He has no idea the impact that he has made on my career and how I believe that many things that we did back so many years ago shaped me to the man that I hope I am.
I spoke at an event today and I took my 3 year old son with me. He was an absolute angel. At the end of the event is where I had heard the news and I got the confirmation from my friend shortly thereafter. As my son and I were having fun together, I took a chance to reflect. I can't wait to teach my son the values that I believe this man stands for. I can't wait to tell him about someone that has shown such courage, compassion, and faith for so many years. I can't wait to tell him that even in some of the darkest times.....good really does triumph!
No day but today,