I recently read a tweet (pic below) from Danny Steele (@SteeleThoughts) that had me thinking more about the power of relationships. While every leader in the world would stress the importance of relationships, some do not practice this life skill or have the passion to do so. I have been so blessed to have many good examples of relationship builders in my life.
With the recent passing of my father-in-law, I have spent more time in reflection than I normally have in the past. Most of my reflection has been centered on the importance of relationships and how they are so crucial in all aspects of life.
My father-in-law Dave was a teacher at a small school middle in Oregon for 21 years. During his 21-year tenure, he had many impacts on students, parents, and community members like many teachers do.
This morning I overheard my mother-in-law reading a message to my wife that she received from a lady that was connected to the school. In her message, she said that she did not get to know Dave well other than the few interactions that she had with him during his time at the school. She said that all of the kids that left that school to head on to high school have been hit very hard by the loss.
This is just one story of the students and parents that have been hit with this loss. There have been hundreds of others. Phone calls, cards, trains, planes, and cars have come from all areas of the country to be with him in his final days, and after, just because he put them first before himself. A prime example of servant leadership.
But, did he realize the impact that relationship had on them? Did he know that the relationship that he had with them would impact their lives forever? Do any of us know this? Whether we know or not, the relationships that we have with others will set their path along with ours on a different course forever. What course do you want the relationship to go?
Today, you have a choice in each relationship that you have. Whether at work, home, church, or the community. How do you want that relationship to move forward?
- Listen twice as much as we talk. This is why we have two ears and only one mouth. Use them in that proportion.
- Let your yes be yes and your no is no.
- Do unto others as we would have them do unto us.
- Never let the sun set on our anger. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. We only have today to make a difference.
We were designed to be a people that crave and need relationships within our daily lives. Without these relationships, we are nothing but an empty shell riding this rock until the end of our days.
We are all in this together. You will run out of tomorrows, so what will you do today, for those that need you? Dave would say "We cannot change who we are, but we can change who we are going to be."