Take Notice

I hope your week is off to a good start!  I am re-using an anecdote from last summer with a short update.  It's based on the principle we have been committing to live out as a Board.  It's the principle of noticing.


Have you ever had a similar experience?  Coming into work one morning when my office was in the Oliver Building, I thought I was being gracious holding the elevator for a woman who was running to catch it.  As she hurriedly got on I asked her what floor she wanted me to push for her.  When she replied "12" which was the same floor as me, I asked her who she had an appointment with that morning.  She looked at me quizzically and responded, “I work here, Mr. Buda.”  As the elevator door opened I quickly spit out, ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t recognize you.”

 I wasn’t lying.  But I would have been more accurate if I had said, “I’ve never noticed you.” Each Monday I email you encouraging us to love our neighbors at work.  To care for them.  To be there for them.  To pray for them.  Perhaps, to even invite them to be part of our PX group. 

None of that happens, unless we first NOTICE them. A precursor of knowing someone, is noticing them.  That means intentionally walking through your office and this world with your eyes up, with them open to your neighbor. On purpose. Intentionally.

If we love our neighbors, before doing anything else we must see our neighbors. With our imagination as well as our eyes, that is to say, like artists, we must see, not just their faces but the life behind and within their faces.  Here it is love that is the frame we see them in.   Frederick Buechner

 


Since I shared this anecdote last summer, a friend mentioned he has tried to notice people around him more intentionally. He made sure to greet and get to know the two attendants in the garage in which he parks during the week.  A couple of weeks ago as he pulled up he noticed the garage sign said "Full."  As he started to roll by to look for another place to park, he noticed one of the attendants waving him down.  When he rolled down his window the attendant told him to pull in and leave him the keys and he would take care of him.  When my friend said, "I thought you were full," he was told,"There is always room for a friend."

My buddy did not "notice" this man with expectations of any favors.  He did it because it was the right thing to do. And after 6 months of "noticing,"  he had made a friend. Imagine the impact we could have by intentionally noticing people with  whom we work  40 or more hours a week. 



Sit up. Take notice. Be available. Make a positive impact on the world around you.



Be A Leader

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As a former wrestler and current coach, this is the time of year where dreams of championships are either fulfilled or crushed. I've been able to celebrate lots of victories and deal with even more losses. Over the years I have noticed how people celebrate victories and handle defeat. I've never seen someone win a championship without, at least, a small contingent of teammates, coaches, friends and family celebrating with them. But for every victor, there is a vanquished opponent. Their corner is often more scarcely populated. Teammates have filtered out to watch the next match. Coaches often give a pat on a back and give them space to deal with the pain.

That's often the case in life. Everybody wants to be part of the victory parade. Less want to be part of picking up the pieces of a crushing defeat. Make sure you have people in your life who will stick by you in hard times. People who will be there after a poor business decision, a moral failure, or an obvious wrong choice. People who stick with you when your stock price is tanking. Have people in your life who will pick you up from in front of the bus, not throw you under it. Want to BE a leader? Be the person to others that you would want in your life when things go south. Be someone's friend when it's no longer popular to be that person's friend. Fair weather friends are a dime a dozen. Be the unique human who is worth more than gold!

Leading Through Humility

Good Monday morning to you all!  I am guessing some of you are off work for President's Day, while others of you are sitting at your desk!  Wherever you are, be the best you, you can be,  And don't be afraid to admit when you haven't been!  I read this interesting excerpt this morning.


What makes someone a strong leader? One characteristic that is often overlooked is humility. The best managers acknowledge their weaknesses and aren’t afraid to show their vulnerabilities. It’s tempting to want colleagues to see you only at your best, but that’s a bad way to lead. For one thing, it’s unsustainable. We’re all human, and we all make mistakes. Sooner or later, you will, too. For another, leading is about connecting. People will follow you, work hard for you, and sacrifice for you if they feel connected to you. And they won’t feel that way if you only let them see what you think will impress them. So don’t be afraid to own up to the areas where you aren’t perfect. If it helps, think of it this way: You aren’t weak; you have weaknesses. There is a difference

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Years ago when I was coaching high school football, we had a rule of no cursing in practice. If a player cursed, he had to run a lap. One day I got a little over-excited and a word slipped out of my lips that shouldn't have.  Immediately a bunch of kids excitedly yelled, "Run a lap, Coach!."  Which I did without comment,  When I finished, another coach grabbed me and was livid.  His reason?  We were adults, and the same rules didn't apply to us.

I've made plenty of mistakes in leadership decisions.  I would contend running that lap was not one of them. You want to be a great leader? Don't be above admitting your mistakes. It will take you a long way down the road to being a respected and effective leader of men and women.