Family is very important to me. I like to think family is the most important thing but I know that sometimes my selfish being takes over and family is not even a consideration. My shoulder-to-the-wheel efforts at work are generally to be a good provider and to ensure the security and comfort of my family. However, those efforts also give me the self satisfaction that comes from the respect and praise of those I am working with. I have been happily married for over twenty-six years to the love of my life and, although not always successful, I try to be the best husband I know how to be. My failures at being a husband usually are when I put my needs above those of my wife. Fortunately for me, she is usually much better at making sure my needs are more important to her that her own needs. My wife and I have raised two wonderful children to the ages of twenty-one and twenty years. I find great joy in being the spectator as our children have taken the reins of their lives. Again, if I struggle with my relationship with my children it generally happens when my needs get in the way of theirs. Also, I find myself closely connected to the concerns of supporting an aging father-in-law who has been struggling with health issues for the past several years. This situation serves to magnify the importance of family and highlights the wonderful things that happen when I put the needs of others in front of my own. Family is precious and close friends should be considered as family. The more I put others’ needs in front of mine, the better friendships I tend to have.
How much is enough? That question has haunted me for years and will likely haunt me for many years to come. At least I hope it continues to haunt me. By virtue of the fact I am fortunate enough to reflect on that question, it tells me that I must have achieved “something” at this point in my life. But what, why and where am I heading? That is a difficult question to respond to and perhaps the answer lies in yet another question – Enough of what? What am I measuring? Success may be the most encompassing answer to that question. If success is measured in terms of finances, developing a score card becomes easy. However, if success is measured in terms of family, friends or impact on the community then the score card is more difficult to establish. My triple bottom line for life is first and most importantly developing and holding close relationships with family and friends, financial success second, and support for the broader community third. I believe that by focusing on the growth and development of close relationships, financial success will follow and in turn provide a means to ensure the security for my family with resources to also support worthwhile causes that make a positive impact in the community. As such, I strive to develop close relationships by helping others to achieve what they want. When I am doing that I am building relationships that will last. Several years ago I put these thoughts into a personal mission statement which says I want to be recognized as a leader who achieves excellence by looking for and developing the best in others through open, honest, fair and consistent relationships. I strive to realize this statement in all walks of life – family, friends, and work. In the process of developing this statement I also produced a foundational list of values and traits I wanted others to recognize in me. This list included these words – Christian, ethical, caring, compassionate, leader, developer of self and others to be their best, excellence, consistent, fair, communicator, honest, and reliable. As I go about my activities at home, work or play I hope my actions help others see those values and traits in me and we develop lasting relationships. I will try to always put the concerns of others first in the process because that is when everything seems to work best and I achieve the greatest happiness.