March 5, 2020

Out of The Mouths of Babes

You have to be part of the species to feel the full joyful weight of the comment.
But, it’s not difficult to sense… if you’re on the journey of Parenthood.

The comment from Chris, a friend of 30 years, which went something like this:

“If I’d known how enjoyable this stage of life would be…
I’d have skipped the first part!”

He was talking about being a grandparent.
Of course.

And, it’s not until you’ve experienced both seasons:
1) The emotional roller-coaster of our children’s teenage years. Followed by….
2) The completely different quality of relationship that we can have with our grandchildren…

That you feel the searing truth of Chris’s exclamation.

In what other role in life can you bathe in the title “Silly”?
As in “Silly Grandad!”

Most of our grandchildren are convinced that’s my real name.
Which just about says it all.
And makes me reconsider how far I’ve travelled towards the state of Wisdom I vainly try to project.

One day I’ll be brave enough to wear that title at an annual industry conference.
One day.

(But” you say. “I’m in my 30’s (or 40’s or whatever). So how does this experience apply to me and my business?”
Walk with me here.
You’ll see soon enough. You’ll definitely see.)

Meanwhile, our family is wallowing in the wash of emotions around the birth of our new grandchild.
Just days old.

I have to say, such an experience knocks all the miserable cynicism clean out of your system.
It’s like being hit with a bolt of light and joy, aimed straight at your spiritual solar plexus.

Suddenly, the possibilities and hope for your life seem multiplied.
Overnight, this tiny being brings the likelihood that they could be part of making this world a better place.

And that you could too.
Because of their influence on you.

I’ll share with you how this – and its anticipation – has impacted me, as I go about my weekly business of coaching leaders.

It has helped me to take a perspective of optimism and glorious hope into every individual and team meeting.

Without me saying a word, I now recognise that this ‘presence’ has influenced the thinking process evolving in the room.

Those present have exclaimed
“Wow! I had no idea I could think like that!
I had no idea such thoughts, such clarity of vision and action, were inside of me!”

So, here’s what I’ve been led towards learning in recent weeks:
1) We carry too many assumptions around with us about what is NOT possible in this world – in business, in life.
2) We predetermine what clients, team members, supporters, colleagues will NOT find acceptable
3) We allow other’s baggage and bigotry to cloud the sunshine right out of our view of the future.

And we allow those perspectives to be The First Part of our thinking on too many days.

Until, that is…
Until we engage with someone who sees the world completely differently.
Someone not tainted by our “This Is Just How It Is” views
Someone who can lift our flagging spirit and sight.
Someone who can help us to think with greater hope than we thought possible.

That someone could be a child not yet able to hold its head upright.
Let alone speak to you.

So…Here’s what I can unequivocally promise you.

When you experience such a relationship – such a renewal of thinking – you, too, will want to declare to the world…

“If I’d known how enjoyable this stage of business would be…
I’d have definitely skipped The First Part!”