I received an e-mail today from my friend, Ron. That's him and me in the pic above, Crackberry in hand, even at our 20th reunion at The Academy. I had recently recommended a book to him and he was writing to tell me it was officially on his list, and he would be getting to it soon.
More importantly he was writing to share with me a recent conversation with his mentor and coach, Willie Jolley http://williejolleyworldwide.com/ Ron is a very successful entrepreneur who is President and COO of Owens Development Company. I admire and respect him as one of the smartest people I know and as a close personal friend and confidant.
Here is an excerpt from his e-mail:
"I wanted to let you know that I have every intention on reading the technical business book you recommended. However, I am in the process of tremendous personal growth and Corporate leadership growth. The past year has been very challenging on a financial and business front. God has provided supreme grace on both of these fronts. The final signing of the St. Lucia resort development deal has been a great blessing and has relieved stressors known and unknown. As I move forward in my now confirmed role as a senior partner and Corporate head of true Billion dollar empire, I have some interpersonal development that I need to refocus myself on. I have for reasons known and unknown gotten away from the reading that was so instrumental in getting me to this success point. After a recent heart to heart session with Willie Jolley (my coach), I have committed myself to reading each day in order that I may improve who I am, so I can then help other improve themselves. I have spent the past 3 mornings starting my day at 6:30am reading. You know this is really early for me. I have not felt this encouraged and focused and ready to really lead in a long time. I guess I was in survival mode and lost a bit of focus. Please feel free to post this email on your leadership blog with your honest and candid leadership response. I am sure my experience is not uncommon. We can all loose focus on the basics. Yet it is the basics, that cause us to succeed. It is also the basics that will keep us succeeding. As you said in your leadership blog:> No matter what is happening around you always remember, " If you are cold , do not complain - go in the closet and put on your designer jacket by ("The Basics")"
My response to him goes for all of you dear readers as well:
"I am happy to hear that Mr. Jolley has done his job as your mentor and helped you to refocus. We often have to stop, take a breath, and refocus. Day-to-day challenges often knock us a bit off-track. Stephen Covey says the symbol of our lives should be the compass, not the clock. The proper moral compass in our lives will always point us back to what is true in our hearts; our morals and right-minded principles. Be true to yourself, my friend. You are an incredible person and your future is bright....I would imagine you are spending time with a more valuable book these days. Time spent with the word of God is the basis of who we are as Christians and men who value God and Family above all."
Focus on the compass, not the clock.