Bridging Leadership Lessons from the Workplace and Those Experiences Shaping Today's Youth and Tomorrow's Leaders
In my opinion, Thanksgiving is one of the most underrated holidays that we celebrate in the United States. It is a great time to gather with family and friends, but even though the title of the holiday is front and center, true thankfulness is often overlooked because of the large meals, football, and shopping deals. The Giving of Thanks has become more words than actions.
Last year, I wrote a post on being thankful and I closed with a challenge to not just post thanks on social media, but to reach out to those for whom you are thankful. Put your words into actions. How did that go? I started off strong by sending notes, texts, and emails. I tried to adjust my behavior. But it was short lived.
Leadership guru and author, Jon Gordon, has long recommended morning Thank-You or gratefulness walks. He has referenced psychological studies that have shown it is impossible to be thankful and stressed at the same time. In a prior post, I had written about the importance of filling your life with positive energy and being mindful of what you read. In What Goes in Must Come Out, I talked about how a change to my reading and listening habits, impacted my mindfulness and attitude which then had a negative impact on relationships.
I am Thankful for my Family
It always starts with family, my wife Jenny and our four incredible kids. My wife and I talked about how much happiness we feel when they are all together and interacting as teenagers and adults. Listening to their banter and laughter as they share stories. Such a different feeling than when you watched them play when they were young. Now we get a glimpse into who they are becoming as adults - which in itself is a reason for gratefulness.
I am Thankful for Brewer Science
My work life has long intermingled with my personal life. It’s where I met my wife. When you listen to the news and in my opinion, the madness that exists in the “Quite Quitting” fad, I feel grateful for the 29 years I have spent at this company that has challenged me to expand my skills and my mind to make sure that I can have an impact on the lives of others. My coworkers have heard me say that when you love what you do and you realize that the decisions you make can not only impact the lives of 500 families but of the community as well, then what you do matters and deserves respect. To you “Quiet Quitters”, I feel sorry that you haven’t felt the passion and the love for a working environment that I have. It is NOT a job. It also is NOT my life. But it has helped shape me and been a big part of my life, just like my family.
I am Thankful for Cherished Memories
The cherished memories I hold for those family and friends who are no longer with us. While I am tearing up as I am typing this, I must remind myself that it is not intended to be sad, but to be grateful for the time and memories that we shared. Being Thankful, that they meant enough that you are thankful for them and the impact that they had on us.
I am Thankful for the Power of Impact
The impact that I have been able to have on others and that others have had on me. The kids I have coached, the mentors that have helped me grow, the coaches who have taken time to share experiences and feedback. Last night I watched a former player coach a high school game. He has helped train my youngest son, having an impact on his development as a player, but also as a person. I have officiated weddings for family members and for kids I have coached. The impact of people who send texts of encouragement, thoughtfulness or appreciation that seem to appear exactly when they are needed. To have former players come back to referee at youth tournaments in which they used to participate or to show up to watch your son play a game. I have always stressed to people that you never know who you might impact, so be intentional with what you do and be aware.
Finally, I am Thankful for the feedback I get from those of you who take the time to read my posts. Some chose to respond on the site, others sent me a note and still others responded in person. I capture each one of those comments and use it to shape future posts, but also to shape who I am as a person. I am Thankful that I can learn from the feedback, the questions that my writing may have brought forth or how others interpreted what I had written. Knowing that there are moments that what I have to say has a positive impact on others, allows me to be Thankful 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.