Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saying Another Goodbye

As I think I had previously mentioned, a friend of mine passed away recently. Tonight there was a celebration of his life, I think he would have liked it, it was very classy and appropriate. I had tried not to think about his passing too much until tonight, I can only handle so many deaths at a time.

At the celebration of his life I had a chance to speak to one of his children who is taking over his company. We go through life and take on different responsibilities. If we are successful we take on more rather than fewer responsibilities. His son will be responsible for the lives of many people and their families, he has been given a great honor and great responsibility at a time when he has just lost his father. That is a lot to have happen in a day.

Everybody wants to be in charge; but, few want the responsibilities that go with it. I personally think my friend will find he will grow into the role quite naturally so this is not about him. If you have read my writings for any amount of time it should be apparent that I use real life events to highlight issues. It is possible that I become more analytical at times in order to avoid emotional pain and if so, so what. LOL.

My friend that passed away had created a company worth quite a lot. You can never really know how much until you see what others will offer to buy it and that changes on a daily basis, so, lets just say lots of money. His family could have sold the company and lived comfortably for the rest of their lives. I believe it is only because his son learned the business and cared about the company that they did not. Heck, they could have done an IPO, kept 51% of the stock and hired someone to manage it; but, they didn't. Instead they kept it in the family and his son is going to take on more responsibility.

One of the problems with American business anymore is that the people who run the companies don't care about the companies or the people who they employ, it is just about the value of the stock and how much the CEO makes. That is a big part of why our economy came apart. Ford didn't go bankrupt; but, family members still control the company.

For any organization to be sustainably successful it must be about the organization and not about the self. It has to be about shared success and shared accomplishments, it has to be about the people. Somewhere around 35 years ago we lost sight of this. Companies stopped thinking of employees as family and leaders stopped thinking about the company as meaningful beyond what they made personally. That was the beginning of the end.

It has been a tough month for me. I am really getting tired of people dying on me. In the last five years I have buried over 20 people, family and friends, mostly family. Each person I said goodbye to was a part of my life, a part of my growth and experience. That is how we effect each other, we become intertwined in each others lives for good or ill.

Though it used to frustrate my daughters, I try and have a positive impact on everyone I deal with, I try and remember that our interactions are always personal on some level, that I am dealing with real people with real emotions and real challenges even when it is the clerk or teller who I will never see again. Those moments are what make up our life.

I dealt with my friend, his son and others at his company for about ten years. I have been blessed to have enjoyed many conversations with my friend and he had a very keen mind and good business sense. I never dated dumb women for a reason, I like a keen mind. I will miss our conversations and miss him, he was and always will be a part of my memories and my life. I preach on the weekends so expect this. My prayers go out to his family and I ask that God kindly receive him to heaven. None of us are perfect, none is good but God; but, some of us actually care about others and he did. He was a blessing in my life and did some good things and I will miss him. Be well, I have one more thing that I must post tonight.

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