Be a Better You

Your entire life is summarized as a dash between your birth and death year. What do you want to squeeze in those years, professionally and personally? If you own your appraisal company, are you providing a springboard for your employees to be successful?  If you’re a staff appraiser, are you contributing to the success of your firm?

I’m reminded about life and the end of it, due to the tragic death of a friend’s 22-year-old son in a recent boating accident. The diversity of people at the funeral, which easily surpassed 500, was amazing. This young life impacted a wide variety of people; his rugby team, football team, Catholic grade school, former teachers, his employer, old people, young people, blue collar, white collar, local people and others from far away. After the family and colleagues gave numerous heartfelt speeches, all with the common theme of selflessness, the mic was open to the room.

A woman stood up and said she was new to town having left a difficult situation and wasn’t interested in meeting anyone. However, she was greeted every day by the young man with a genuine hug. Over time, he broke down her walls and eventually she looked forward to seeing him so much that she began to charge at him at full speed. After a few encounters he told her, “Listen, you’re a big girl, if you’re going to keep running at me I might have to body-check you.” This young man impacted her deeply.

Another story was his football high school coach who quit his job because he thought the kids didn’t appreciate his efforts. The young man wrote him a long email encouraging him to stay on as a coach, letting him know his impact and that he should continue for others. The next day the coach signed up again, exemplifying the student becoming the master. Who’s teaching who?

The common theme of the speeches throughout the funeral was that this young man was an unrelenting selfless example, constantly doing things for other people and asking nothing in return. His positive role model behavior was innate and infectious. If you knew this man for more than 10 minutes you couldn’t help but try to become a better you.

So in your business and personal life, what things can you do? Perhaps listen more. Maybe do things for other people in your organization organically and don’t expect payback. Maybe ask your employees if they’re achieving their financial goals and if they feel like they’re contributing. Invest in your business success, which will be a direct investment in your peoples’ success.

After listening to the speeches and talking with friends and family, you couldn’t help but try to be a better you.  It’s like the tide coming in, it raises all ships. Thank you Keith Rohde IV, rest in peace.