Is today the day?
The day of inspiration and decision making.
The day for motivation, arousal and action.
The day to make that change in your life.
Years ago, when I was part of the corporate middle management machine, I had the honor of working, for brief time, with a gentleman that actually reinforced my faith in mankind.
Not just corporate mankind, but all of mankind.
He was a smart man, a happy man and he knew how to motivate his employees.
He was a graduate of the GE and Jack Welch school of leadership so he came to us with lofty credentials.
He would very carefully identify the sources of our under-performance and build bridges for us to succeed.
He was the best ever at pushing back against the onslaught of corporate bullshit.
He had character and took big risks.
He cared about his employees as people.
He understood the work/life balance.
For a short time he brought success to our world but it didn’t last.
He didn’t do things by the book.
He didn’t fit the tightly buttoned down collar image of what a Vice President should be.
He didn’t look for favor from his superiors.
He encouraged their support and demanded their involvement in our transformation, something that wasn’t in vogue in our corporate structure.
He was considered too radical.
His tenure with our company was cut short.
My ability to learn from him was cut short as well.
Fortunately, at one of our first meetings, he gave everyone on the management team a poster to hang in their offices back home.
It’s been at least 15 years since I received this gift but not a week has gone by when I don’t think about what the words on that poster say to me.
They are the cornerstone of my how I now live my life.
I can only hope that they will instill the same degree of passion and motivation in some of the Baby Boomers that read them as they do in me.
Here’s what it says:
“Every day in Africa a gazelle wakes up.
It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed.
Every morning a lion wakes up.
It knows that it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle.