This is not a social media post. Nor a marketing post. Not branding. Not design either.
I recently stopped what I was doing to take a few minutes to watch a video on YouTube. It was the lead-in that got me really. I’ve seen Scott Stratten speak twice and hung out with him a few times, but it was the “most emotional talk I’ve given” excerpt that made me click. I’ll embed the 15 minute video below and highly recommend that you take the time to watch it.
Are our priorities out of whack?
Define success. Define the inputs you think are required for success. Did you only picture business meetings, presentations, rockstar ideas or did you think of loved ones? Spouses, children, family members, friends. These days we measure everything. As you read this, I can tell you where you came from, what browser you are using. how many other folks use that browser, how long you read this, what you clicked next and so on. Are we measuring the right things?
I consider myself to be ambitious. Ambition is sexy. Driving to be great at anything is a quality that I highly admire and find myself gravitating towards others that feel the same. As I was chugging through the NC State MBA program (I wanted a better job), we had a very successful Founder and CEO visit our campus. I will never forget what he said:
Success takes time. Success takes hard work. Being a business leader requires you to put 99% of your focus on your work and the rest on your family. There will be late nights. There will be missed experiences. But to be a global business leader, you have to put in the time, put work first and be great at what you do.
I was young. I was impressionable. But I immediately said to myself “are you kidding?” If that is success… I’ll settle with mediocrity (which I despise). I’m not saying that I don’t work late some nights… I do. But my first priority is not my work. My work is not my life. That does not hinder me from being successful. I’ll only work somewhere that shares the same values and priorities.
Scott’s talk sparked a lot of those memories for me. We’re so hung up on being a big deal to whatever segment we’re in and trying to measure our influence that we may be missing the point.
25 years ago today, I was diagnosed with leukemia.
This is not a sob story and I don’t want sympathy… it is just funny how things are always timed like that (Scott’s video posted yesterday). I was a kid. I had no clue what leukemia was and didn’t know how to act.
My parents were devastated when the doctor at Duke gave us the news and a less than three year old boy looked at them and said “Don’t worry. Everything is going to be alright.” In retrospect, maybe I liked a challenge. Maybe I was destined to be a comforter like most folks in my family. Maybe I had no clue what I was even saying. Regardless, that was a quarter of a century ago.
I never lost my hair and although it did stunt my growth, I’m still 6’4″ tall. I’ve been in remission for almost 23 years and while it was nothing out of the ordinary for me… I’m guessing it had a rather large impact on the people that love me.
“Keep going until we stop.”
Wanting to provide for your family or make others proud does not trump the fact that they want you. Take the time to be the husband, wife, brother, sister, son, daughter, father, mother or friend you can be and measure that influence.
Is there a @Klout for personal relationships?
We work. We blog. We tweet. We network. We share. We comment. We try the best we can to be the best we can. We try to make an impact to move up to the next rung on the ladder. We strive for leadership. At times we even crave acknowledgement. But how important are any of these things once we get home? Thanks Scott for a good kick in the tail that I needed this week.
Invest 15 minutes and watch this video then go give someone a hug. That is all.