First a quote: “Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give others.”―Eleanor Roosevelt
I have learned much from the many mentors in my career and life, both formal and informal. One of the mentors I have learned much from is my good friend, Bob Banks. In addition to being a colleague at Albertsons, we also co-taught graduate-level leadership courses at George Fox University.
Bob occasionally told stories about being a cadet in the United States Air Force Academy. I recall one that involved being “homesick” not long after he left home in pursuit of his career. On a call home, his mother could sense Bob was struggling and was not his normal, cheerful self.
His mom’s advice, “I want you to go through your dorm building and find someone who Is more homesick, and lonelier, than you. Your assignment is to cheer that person up and help them work through their struggles with being away from home for the first time; then report back.”
As you might guess, by focusing on someone other than himself and bringing emotional comfort to someone else, Bob also found comfort and happiness himself. That was a lesson Bob never forgot. It was indeed as Eleanor Roosevelt said, by bringing happiness to others, we find happiness ourselves.
The holiday season is difficult for many. Loneliness seems even more lonely. Stressfulness seems even more stressful. Heartaches hurt even more. Financial pressures often feel greater.
This is a great time for both personal and professional leadership. It is a great time to reach out to others in need. Find someone in your life who could use a little boost of some sort this week; maybe you could choose to be a “Secret Santa”, send a note or give someone a call, maybe even a hug. You might just find the holidays are a little cheerier, a little merrier this year.
Regardless of what occasion you celebrate this time of year; Christmas, Hanukkah, Rohatsu, Solstice or maybe just winter, I wish you a holiday season filled with love, warmth, wonder, happiness and joy.
For the Yager family, it is Merry Christmas! Enjoy!
How will you lead differently, or better, this week?
“Expanding Your Capacity for Success”