A MESSAGE TO THE CEOs OF THE WORLD
My seven year old, Mack, is running for school representative of his class. I explained to him that I am proud of him for simply trying. Win or lose, Mommy and Daddy appreciate him going after it. (We teach failure in all things we do because it means you have risked putting yourself out there and tried. The alternative of never trying is the true definition of failure).
So Mack and I sat down to hammer out his speech.
Curious and amazing looks from his baby blues into my hazel irises.
"What do I say?" asked Mack.
A few more seconds...
"Maybe you should tell your class how you will 'represent' them."
Now it clicks.
"I could declare a Snickers for lunch every day."
"I could extend recess by five minutes a day."
Totalitarian dictatorship now pumping through his small veins with visions of Franco, Mussolini, and the like right there at our very own private Episcopal School... genius!
I snap him out of his power frenzy.
"What if you first told them about you?" I said, "About why you would be a good representative?"
More silence, but I could see thought synapses firing throughout his cerebellum. Then this...
"I know, I am thoughtful and kind."
I start to cry.
"Yeah... you are thoughtful and kind." Could I love this child any deeper than this moment?
AND THEN I GOT TO THINKING...
What if this was true in business? And all CEOs were thoughtful and kind? What if my little seven-year-old told us everything we need to know about the business world, politics, race relations, whatever?
I pull the definitions off of Google:
Thoughtful: showing consideration for the needs of other people.
Kindness: the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.
Think about it.
What if CEOs were "thoughtful?" What if they showed consideration for the needs of others? Heck, let's not get too touchy-feely here because we know CEOs represent shareholders who want/need a return on their investment, but what if that was in the company's mission statement or a directive from its Board of Directors? All of your decisions must be made being "thoughtful," considering the needs of others, not only shareholders, but the people your decisions or policies impact?
And what if "kindness" were brought into the equation? What if being friendly, generous, and considerate were also mandated. Why are these qualities seen as a sign of weakness? Are we to suspect that being a leader of people, or a company, should not operate like this because a leader should simply dominate the marketplace or crush the competition?
I will say this unequivocally, none of us, not one of us on this planet should accept this type of behavior from any leader. It is unacceptable and sends the wrong message to the universe... to our children.
So, to my Mack... you ARE both thoughtful and kind. Your Mommy and Daddy know this and see it in your actions every day. There is no election, no promotion, no status on this earth that will ever make us more proud of who you are than living with both of those amazing traits.
Big Mack is gonna represent!
This post originally appeared on The Whole Magilla and was written by Chris Meyer, co-founder of MagillaLoans.com.