By Guy Hatcher
As is tradition whenever I am driving my 7 and 8 year old daughters to school, they request a story from the best story-teller they know – their daddy. So the other day, in my best whimsical voice, I begin. “Once upon a time, there was a family of ducks who were enjoying their pond. Suddenly, one of the baby ducks notices something in the water, and it’s a snake!
“Hi, I’m Henry the snake, and I’d like to be your friend.” The little duck didn’t see a problem with this, but oh mama duck sure did. She quickly swooped down, grabbed the snake with her webbed feet, and flew far away and dropped the snake off in the middle of a meadow.
Well, now Henry was scared because he’s never been away from home before. While slithering along a path trying to find his pond, he hears something rushing towards him through the tall grass. His eyes get real big and his heart starts pounding faster and faster. Then, a badger pops out onto the path and starts coming towards him! Poor little Henry doesn’t know what to do and…”
“Daddy, wait!” interrupts the precocious 7-year-old. “Was it a Honey Badger or an American Badger?”
Taking me completely off guard, I can’t help but laugh. Knowing she is inquiring of this because of her love and study of animals and not because of a YouTube sensation is further confirmation to me that I have succeeded in passing my inherent love of nature on to my daughter. This moment of connection between us is a heartwarming memory I will always cherish.
What may be surprising to you is that I believe this new economic world we are experiencing here in America can be credited with this bonding moment I had with my daughter, and here’s why. It has brought me back home, to my family, to what matters most. In times past, I would most likely be focused on news radio and the latest stock report while my girls sat quietly in the back.
Once I realized the monumental command I felt to pass personal elements of my life down to my children, I started behaving differently. I became more purposeful with my time to ensure my family knew without a doubt I did not take them for granted. I also began placing a higher value on creating memorable experiences with family, friends and loved ones, instead of thinking an expensive gift would suffice. The return on this investment of time is of far greater value to me than a portfolio.
I believe we were all built with a driving force to matter, to leave something behind that acts as our voice when we are no longer here, able to speak for ourselves. This has become so significant in my life, that I now incorporate an additional level of service to my clients by helping them identify and define the tangible (heirlooms, an estate, trusts, a family business, historical family records and cultural background, etc.) and intangible (family rules, affirmations, blessings, ideals, spiritual beliefs, etc.) elements of value that matter most to them.
Only in first identifying that which is most important to us, can we be sure to pass them on to those we love. Even though you may not have a bonding moment with family members over a Badger story, there will be plenty you can connect on if you take the time.
Within family and business leadership roles, I have come to embrace this fact: there is nothing new under the sun. To prove this point further, it isn’t even a new thought! This concept was first stated by King Solomon, and can found in Ecclesiastes 1:9.
If it was true in biblical times, then it is certainly true today. There is no newly developed leadership style to enhance your success despite what the infomercials say. There are no new magic words to entice people to come under your authority and follow you as a leader. There are no new epiphanies on how to manage people, and there are no new personality quirks appearing in your staff or family that leaders have not dealt with since the beginning of time. There is only new packaging.
In my years of coaching business and family leadership, I have developed a list of ideal commonalities found in leaders who seem to have that knack for inspiring a fire in others:
· If you are doing something worthy, with vision and passion that fuels your ambition and drive towards success, people will follow.· If you treat others with kindness, respect, truth and dignity, and own up to mis-steps and mistakes – even when you falter as a leader, your team will still be there and rally to help you get things back on track.· When difficult times come, a leader will be the first to go into the storm, and they will lead their team through to the other side, out of the storm.· There is no staying power in a leader without genuine gratitude. People will stay if you treat them the way you want to be treated. Say “Please” and “Thank You” with true appreciation and you will develop a loyal following within your family, circle of friends and peers.
As we enter this New Year, regardless of where we are in business or in life, there is always room for improvement in how we manage, lead and relate to others. My faith, family and friends are high on my list of priorities this year, as I seek to deepen not only my faith, but also the relationship with my family and closest friends. Having such a support structure in place for leaders is crucial to keeping your fire lit, so you can use it to enhance the success and significance of others.
Have you taken the time to define what matters most to you? If not, what does the right time look like for you to decide what matters most?
As for the Badger? Of course…it was an American Badger.
Guy Hatcher, a Certified Financial Planner®, is the founder and president of Advanced Planning, Inc. Guy established the firm in 1993 to fulfill his desire to offer clients a unique life and financial planning experience. His areas of expertise include wealth management, estate planning, and business coaching.
With help from the team at API, Guy is able to focus his unique talents on what’s important; helping his clients enjoy success on their terms.Guy has been in the financial planning business since 1987. He received his certification from the respected College of Financial Planning in Greenwood Village, Colorado.
Dynamic, compassionate, and intuitive, Guy has a unique gift for understanding people and their needs, as well as a rare ability to render complex financial issues in straightforward terms. Having helped thousands of families and businesses build wealth and enjoy ongoing success, Guy Hatcher is perfectly positioned for the role of coach on your financial planning team.