Last week I was visiting my daughter Brittany at her college SVU. I spent one day shadowing her - which included seeing her on campus job and sitting through some classes. Her business finance class was something about this formula WACC = E/V (Re) + D/V(rd)(1-7) - If I get this right it was about debt and equity and issuing preferred stock and bonds and the after tax benefits of one over the other. Whew… I would love to go back to college but not for this class. After about 20 minutes my brain started hurting and I stopped taking notes and started reading past entries in my learning journal.
So here is what I found from my notes on a speech by Captain Sullenberger or SULLY
Speaking of a leader he admired he said, “He didn’t need a t-shirt or a poster to communicate his values.”
Captain “Sully” spent the majority of his time describing the attributes and character of leaders we trust and would follow because of their unspoken and undeniable morale courage.
In our family we often say “If you have to say you are something… you probably aren’t. People that are truly brave don’t say they are brave. People that are truly great or talented don’t spend time talking about being great or talented. If you have to say it about yourself… you are either trying to convince yourself or others or both. I am not saying that is a bad thing… heck it may be a very important step in moving toward and becoming that thing.
But it can also be a fairly good way to spot the fakes and the phonies.. those snake oil type sales approaches that say what they think you want to hear to get you to buy what they are selling. When people have to say things like, “You Can Trust Me.” - hold your wallet because you probably can’t. Of all the people in the world I trust the most… none ever said those words to me. Of all the people I love the most…none ever said, “You can love me.” or “Trust me I am lovable.”
There are good reasons for Value Statements and Declarations on t-shirts and posters in the lobby. They can and should act as reminders. But the best way to have or acquire a value or character trait is follow this simple 3 step process. To learn it, live it and learn to love living it.
Learning it is relatively easy. - Define it. What it looks like, sounds like, feels like and understand the powerful WHY benefits of living it.
Living it is the real challenge or at least it can be initially. This is where we practice and play with the principles upon which the value depends. This is the adoption phase where the things we learned in our head begin to spread to our heart. This is where ideally they become a part of the way that we think without thinking…and our reflected in everything that do and everything that we are. This phase takes time… even a life time. We must remember that the pursuit of excellence is never finished, checked off, or done.
This leads to the “learn to love living it” phase. This should require the least effort of all. Once we begin to truly experience the positive results of living principle centered lives or of a specific value… we enjoy the emotional, spiritual and even temporal results of doing so and we naturally want more. Not just because it makes us better…but primarily because it makes us better able to serve others. It is this increased ability to be of value and service to others that enhances our love of learning and living it.