3 Gifts of Wisdom on Funerals, Kindness and Authenticity.

This month I attended the funeral of a young man who died in his sleep; family and friends shared stories, tears and smiles both formally from the front and informally over drinks. Yet I found myself reflecting on how we often fail to share our thanks, gratitude, appreciation, stories, and laughter with those we know whilst they are still alive… So

“Tell ‘em, don’t wait til’ it’s too late.”

Sometimes we can get so entrenched in our thoughts and ways that we fail to see things from another’s point of view and simply plough on with our perception – for as the cliché goes perception is FACT. Discussing a potentially difficult impasse with a friend, I was reminded by them of the power of a kind word or a kind deed to change the moment, mood, and motivation… So

“Remember the power of kindness.”

Ten years ago, I agreed to meet a man in the lobby of a London hotel. We had not met before, but we had spoken on the phone, and I’d checked out his online profile before setting off to meet him.

On arriving at the hotel there were 3 men seated in the lobby, none of whom matched the profile of the man I was meeting. So, I asked at reception if there were any other meeting areas, entrances, or lobbies. 10 minutes later I returned, and the same 3 men were still sitting there, and I was now 10 minutes late for my rendezvous. I discounted one based on the photo I’d seen online and stepped forward towards the two remaining men, at the same time addressing the most likely one by his online name. As he shook his head at me, I heard my name being called from behind my back and as I turned to face the person I’d arranged to meet I’m sure the shock on my face gave my first impressions away. He looked nothing like his photo which must have been take 30 years earlier and when he stood up to greet me it took several seconds, and he was several inches shorter!

I didn’t get the job as he thought I was gay, on the strength of describing my now wife Sarah as my “partner” – strange world, strange man, and strange photo. So as tempting as it might be to want to hold on to your youth, just be yourself wrinkles and all.

Here’s my 30 years before head shot and my post lockdown head shot.

“Afterall when you enter a room (or lobby) you want people to recognise who you are and not, just from your head shot.”

Since 2013 I have been helping ambitious SMEs with their Strategic and Leadership challenges.

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Posted in communication, Company Culture, leadership, people, Values
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