It’s early, the joy of getting some years behind us is that we sleep really late into the morning …. Not! But, early it was and I had just spent a great night at a dear friend’s house up in a very beautiful part of Virginia with he and his family. Having a few quiet morning-moments was awesome, I slipped into my hosts office, grabbed a spot near a window overlooking his property and started pounding out e-mails, messages, etc. Then I hear someone walking down the stairs, they get the coffee pot started and then their keyboard starts clicking and clacking away. Obviously, whoever was in the kitchen didn’t know I was in the office, as my bedroom was just beside it, I figured they thought I was still holed up in there. Then I heard “Sue” on a phone call. “Sue” had recently joined the family business, she was about 120 days or so into it, at this time.
As I sat there working, I started to listen to her on the phone. How she dealt with her customers with whom she was speaking with, the answers and the non-answers, meaning, “I do not know that answer but, I will have you an answer today”, really popped with the fluid sounds of a true service-minded business woman. Her dad had told me about her, how proud he was to get to bring her into the fold, though only after she had been through a top-flight school and earned a PhD, and how much he had enjoyed the newness of having a true partner, especially since it was his own kid. She had pursued a career utilizing her education, but found it didn’t satisfy her and that honestly, she just didn’t enjoy the field. After discussing her options, she found her way to the family business. “Sue” has a natural ability to communicate, in my experience, which albeit brief, I felt it was insightful, her best skill I think is, she listens well. I really got a kick out of “eaves-dropping” on “Sue”. I sat there grinning and thought about some of the strong young women that I have had the pleasure of working with, she is definitely on the right track, given what I learned from and taught others in a similar role and position.
Come to the office and meet my new Director! That was what “Joe” typed when we exchanged text messages about our next co-mentoring session. By that I mean, as weird it may sound, we actually mentor each other, in real-time, in real-life scenarios. I don’t think we could have cooked up the relationship if we would have tried, that is just how it has evolved over the many, many years of our friendship, business partnerships and noodling sessions. New director? Hmmm, I said OK and we picked a time, date and bam, off I go.
“Joe” has an office that is sort of like walking into a friend’s house, I just feel good about being there, it is just a very thought-inspiring, private place. We sure made good use of the quiet for 20 or 30 minutes, awaiting his new director. The appointed time arrived and so did “Sally”, the new director. She introduces herself, and I quickly learned that “Sally” was “Joe’s” daughter. She had been working in another state running a fair-sized chunk of business for an international company, but soon longed to join “Joe” and extend the work that he has been curating for the last 40 or so years.
Remember now, mentally I am just about 4 or 5 days removed from the Virginia experience with “Sue”. As we sat there, the three of us, I too felt “Sally” had definitely inherited dad’s genetic predisposition for serving others. We talked overall about what the vision is, the implementation and even looked at how she had taken some of the material “Joe” had created years ago, digitized it and was and is building an entire eco-system of learning products for strategic commercial use. Truly good stuff, truly extraordinary folks.
As I drove the hour or so back home, stopping by Lake Norman for lunch and sitting on a dock looking at the few boats that were out enjoying a spring day on the water, I couldn’t help but take myself to task. “Guilty as charged”, I said internally. The charge? Getting caught-up in all the buzz about Millennials this and Millennials that. Let’s face facts here. The baby boomer population is retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day, we now have a bevy of high-quality young folks (Millennials) ready, willing and are currently waist-deep in running our companies, groups, governments and all other aspects of life. I will just tell you that from my experience with these two-young lady’s, ones that I suspect I will be around and work with for the years I am out doing what I do, I feel they and so, so many more have us placed in very capable and promising hands.
Until next time, stay ataraxic.