We were discussing trust, change, and strategic development, when I noticed a gold ring, tastefully mounted on a beautiful piece of wood. When I asked the person about it, his response surprised me: "It belonged to my father. Last winter, he was coming off the highway onto an icy exit when the back tires of his 18 wheeler started sliding on the ice. He was killed in the accident. I grieved long and hard. It happened during his last remaining weeks at work before he retired.
"Still, in the midst of all my sadness, I feel okay, in part because a week before the accident I had gotten up early, picked up a box of donuts, and had driven over to have breakfast with him. At the time, I didn't really have time to go. I was swamped with meetings and appointments, and we had an evaluation coming up that everyone was working hard on. Still, I had a gut feeling that it was important to do, so I went.
"We talked about the weather, trucking, and my work. I encouraged him to skip the last couple of weeks before retiring and take some of the vacation time that he had been saving. I told him I loved him, that I appreciated him and was proud of him. We aren't normally very demonstrative, but I'm so glad now that I went out of my way to see him.
"And all I have now is this gold ring to remind me of our time together. This gold ring reminds me to create those kinds of connections here at work. It makes all the difference, really. This ring reminds me of the power of taking time, and to not neglect the things that really matter in the heat of the hectic pace."
Every day at work, connections are waiting to happen - opportunities to take core values and turn them into living experiences. Don’t waste these opportunities for genuine sharing and role modeling. As Bill Byrne has stated, “Choice, not chance, determines destiny."
Remember: Make time on a regular basis to live your core values and to build the community you seek. It will be the foundation for today and tomorrow.