Category Archives: Purpose

Leadership Moment_The New Year Awaits

Happy New Year

“We will open the book.  Its pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves.  The book is called Opportunity
and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”
                           
-Edith Lovejoy Pierce

The new year brings with it endless possibilities, limited solely by the confines of your imagination.  If you can imagine where you ultimately desire to go, it is infinitely easier to chart a course to reach that destination!

The new year is a time to set new goals.  Whether professional or personal, no goal is so large that it cannot be attained with a clearly defined roadmap, hard work and perseverance.  Goals, whether large or small, can be life-changing.  Start today by defining your goals for 2011 and creating your roadmap to success!

From Leadership Moments, www.leadstar.us

Building Bridges

Once upon a time two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 30 years of living side-by-side, sharing machinery, and trading labor and goods as needed without a hitch. Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.

One morning there was a knock on the older brother’s door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter’s toolbox. “I’m looking for a few days’ work,” he said. “Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there. Could I help you?”

“Yes,” said the older brother. “I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That’s my neighbor, in fact, it’s my younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between us, he took his bulldozer to the river levee, and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I’ll go him one better. See that pile of lumber curing by the barn? I want you to build me a fence — an 8-foot fence — so I won’t need to see his place anymore. Cool him down, anyhow.”

The carpenter said, “I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and I’ll be able to do a job that pleases you.” The older brother had to go to town for supplies, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day.

About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job. The farmer’s eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped. There was no fence there at all. It was a bridge — a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work, handrails and all — and the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming across, his hand outstretched.

“You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I’ve said and done.”

The two brothers met at the middle of the bridge, embracing one another. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox on his shoulder. “No, wait! Stay a few days. I’ve a lot of other projects for you,” said the older brother.

“I’d love to stay on,” the carpenter said, “but I have so many more bridges to build.”

Bridge over creek

Do you have any bridges to build?  Don’t wait…

Fishing and Ethics

A boy was 11 years old and went fishing every chance he got from a dock at his family’s cabin on an island in the middle of a New Hampshire lake. On the day before the bass season opened, he and his father were fishing early in the evening, catching some fish and perch with worms.

When his pole doubled over, he knew something huge was on the other end. His father watched with admiration as the boy skillfully worked the fish along side the dock. Finally, he very gingerly lifted the exhausted fish from the water. It was the largest one he had ever seen, but it was a bass. The boy and his father looked at the handsome fish, shining in the moonlight. The father lit a match and looked at his watch. It was 10 p.m., two hours before the season opened. He looked at the fish, then at the boy. “You’ll have to put it back, Son,” he said. “Dad!” cried the boy. “There will be another fish,” said his father. “Not as big as this one,” cried the boy.

He looked around the lake. No other fishermen or boats were around in the moonlight. He looked again at his father. Even though no one had seen them, nor could anyone ever know what time he caught the fish, the boy could tell by the clarity of his father’s voice that the decision was not negotiable. He slowly worked the hook out of the lip of the huge bass and lowered it into the black water.

That was 34 years ago. Today, the boy is a successful architect in New York City. His father’s cabin is still there.. He takes his own son and daughters fishing from the same dock. He was right. He has never again caught such a magnificent fish as the one he landed that night long ago. But he does see that same fish — again and again — every time he comes up against a question of ethics.

For, as his father taught him, ethics are simple matters of right and wrong. It is only the practice of ethics that is difficult. Do we do right when no one is looking? Do we refuse to cut corners to get the design in on time? We would if we were taught to put the fish back when we were young. For we would have learned the truth. The decision to do right lives fresh and fragrant in our memory.

This story  is reminding you not only that you already know the difference between right and wrong; you feel it in your gut. But do the right thing, and be an example to others. They will never forget.