What you do now for the youth of this country will have more impact that anything else you have ever done. in your life. How do I know this? I’ve witnessed it first hand and I’m about to open my heart to prove it to you.
I was in a meeting yesterday with a supplier, I have all my supplier meetings on Thursdays. This supplier noticed an airplane on the wall and asked if I was a pilot. I told him that I had some interest in flying, mostly thanks to my brother and I watching Top Gun 40,000 times, but had never piloted a plane.
He went on to tell a story that opened my eyes to the impact we as adults have on the lives of the youth around us. See, when he and his two bothers where children, his uncle flew for an oil company and owned his own airplane. When he would come to visit the boys, he would call ahead and have the boys meet him at the airport. He would take them all up and let them have turns “flying” through the air.
The truth is, the boys never actually had control of the airplane. There uncle was steering the whole time. But they believed that they were the ones flying. This simple event had such a profound impact on the lives of these three boys. The eldest owns his own plane and flys for fun. The middle boy flies for a local oil and gas company. The youngest is an F-16 pilot for the United States Armed Forces.
This simple adventure in the air had such an impact that it altered the course of the lives of these three young men. I thought back on my past and wondered how I got to where I am today. Who had an impact on me and my life choices? I was reminded of the small moments in life that impacted me in such a way that they lead me to here, the Vice President of a Multi-Million dollar company. It is these simple things that people did, which changed my life forever. This is how you impact the youth around you and change the world forever.
Have Patience – My father-in-law owns a company, MPCK Machining. He also drag races. Not too long ago we were at a race track on a long, very hot, day. He races two cars so he is a very busy man at the track. The day was finally over and he was loading his cars into the trailer to head home. I’m sure he couldn’t wait to get the cars loaded up so he could take a shower and rest. But right there in the middle of it all was my son. He watched his “Pops” intently. It is at this impact moment that my admiration for my father-in-law grew as I watched the weary racer stop what he was doing and give my son the “ride” of his life. Ryan got to climb behind the wheel of a race car, turn knobs, push buttons, flick switches, and for a moment feel like a real racer. To this day he loves to get behind the wheel and act like his “Pops.” Who knows, this small act of patience may have completely altered my son’s life forever.
Have Fun – My Aunt and Uncle both worked at the family stone company. Every time I would go out into the shop my Uncle would stop what he was doing and entertain me. I remember always horsing with him too. I would write bizzar meetings on his calendar and hide all his tools throughout the shop. The same is true for my Aunt who was always running the office. I had friends inside and outside. They always made it fun to go to “work.” This impact moment is why I was always interested in going to offices and shops. They represent fun for me.
Pay Attention – My dad was the “S” in CB&S Stone Company. Every time I came up to work he would stop whatever he was doing and pay attention to me. I’m sure I interrupted him right in the middle of something important a million times, but without fail, he paid attention to me. Just paying attention to the children around you will have more impact than you will ever know. This always made business a comfortable place for me.
Example – My Uncle was the B in CB&S and later founded Texas Cut Stone which he still runs to this day. I practically lived at his house during the summers since his son has always been my best friend. I had the unique privilege to observe from a very close distance what it means to be a leader and businessman. I recently wrote a post titled “Who’s Watching You?” This is a perfect example of how we can have a profound impact on someone without even realizing it some times. I would venture to say that just watching my Uncle go to work and provide the life he has provided for his family, has had the single largest impact on my business career than anything else. The example we set for our youth is a daily impact point and my Uncle never missed an opportunity to leave a lasting impression on me.
Give Opportunity – I come from a long line of Entrepreneurs. One such, is my grandfather. I spent many summer days interrupting important work, drawing on important documents, burning up copier machine bulbs photocopying body-parts, and just causing trouble. But that never stopped my grandfather from giving me the opportunity to come out to Allied Equipment every summer. The opportunity he gave me that made the largest impact was in the summer of 2007. I had no sales experience, but that didn’t stop him from giving me opportunity and putting me on a course that would eventually lead to my success. There are so many youth out there who just need someone to give them the opportunity to make an impact.
As I look back, I would not be where I am today without these people taking the time and putting forth the effort to impact my life. None of them ever had a clue what their simple acts were doing to the little snaggle-toothed boy with the comb-over. Come to find out, they were impacting his life and making him the business man he is today.
Question: How are you making an impact in the lives of those around you?