Bridging Leadership Lessons from the Workplace and Those Experiences Shaping Today's Youth and Tomorrow's Leaders
I was sitting at my writing desk, reviewing notes I have on various blog topics. I had taken somewhat of a hiatus from writing my blog and have not been feeling the passion to make any movement until this morning. I quickly got into a groove with two separate but related posts flowing freely from my pen to my journal.
Feeling excitement and a renewed sense of purpose, I felt the need to go after some more topics. But as I reviewed the most recent list, none of them were speaking to me. Then I looked up and was lost in my thoughts as I stared at the framed picture above my desk.
The framed picture is actually a completed puzzle that my daughter had given me for Christmas two years ago and upon completion, we took it to get framed. I had been recovering old slides that were my parents and using a scanner, converting them to jpeg files. My daughter found the graininess of the picture with the random black spots fascinating, especially this one.
This photo is from the mid-60’s and was taken in Canada as my parents traveled from their home in Alaska to visit relatives in Missouri and Indiana. My dad is standing in the middle of the desolate highway, majestic mountains with a brilliant blue sky on the horizon. Surprisingly, he is wearing jeans in the picture instead of his typical dress slacks. But I am positive he is wearing his brown wingtips! With his short sleeve shirt unbuttoned and flapping in the breeze, you can imagine his thoughts as he is hoping to do justice in capturing this picturesque view that is before him.
Unlike today, he could not look at his screen to check the quality of the picture before snapping another one. Back then, he would have to wait until the film roll was finished and sent out for processing via mail. No, it wasn’t uploaded to the internet, but was sent using “snail mail” that could take 3 weeks or even longer considering we were in Alaska. Overnight parcel service did not exist back then!
When I had first converted the slide to a picture, it took me a while to consider who was taking the picture of my dad taking the picture. Well, of course it was my mom. Always behind the scenes to my dad and his dynamic personality. I have yet to find the picture that my dad was taking that day, but I can’t imagine it being nearly as perfect as the one my mom captured that day.
The next question I asked myself as I noticed the wide-open door of their station wagon, was where are the kids? From looking at other pictures that were in this case of slides, we know that my older three siblings were on this trip with estimated ages of 5, 4 and 2, so surely, they were close by. Maybe they were safely sitting on the edge of the road, dutifully obeying the instructions of my parents to not move and keep their hands to themselves. But more than likely they were either chasing each other in the middle of the highway or frolicking in the back of the station wagon, unrestrained just like when they were riding down the highway with no posted speed limits!
As my eyes left the picture on the wall and turned towards the journal to begin writing this blog, I thought about how difficult it is to put value on these types of trips. Especially a trip down memory lane that was made possible by a gift from my daughter, of a picture taken at a time before I was born but is a memory of the spirit of my mom and dad and the love that they shared for their family. That memory is now a legacy for my family of a trip that will last long Beyond Today.
Tom Brown - a husband and a father who is simply trying to make a difference. Using my experience as a Manufacturing Executive to connect leadership from the boardroom to the hardwood to help teams grow and develop to make a difference in the lives of others.