I have been amazed at the compassion and love everyone is expressing and sharing right now. Who would have thought that being forced to be apart would actually bring us together? It is humbling and inspiring to be blessed with so many amazing people in our lives. Friends and neighbors reaching out just to make sure we and our loved ones are OK and asking – do y’all need anything?
Thinking about all the good we are seeing from our fellow Americans right now and contrasting that with what is all over the news I am reminded about a book I read recently that really had an impact on me and I wanted to share some excerpts with you.
It is from the book Grand by Gene Lumsden. In his book, Gene discusses personal values such as Generosity, Responsibility, Ambition, Neighborliness, and Determination. He explains how these values are key to living a “Grand” life and to take your shot at the American Dream. The following quotes speak to us as individuals and about embracing these values.
“We get a little extreme hoping that our guy will come riding in on a white horse and fix the whole mess with a couple of strokes of an executive pen. But the truth is that it doesn’t matter who wins the next election.
“You heard me right. What matters is you – you and your two hands and good brain and strong heart. You matter. A nation of people who really get to work making their own lives safe, financially secure, kind, and generous will transform this country faster and in a longer-lasting way than any political figure you could throw behind a podium. Those kinds of people won’t need some political figure in DC to act for them or take care of their neighbors.”
“They’ll take on the job. They’ll ask what they can do for their country. And they’ll do it.”
“The inspiring words of JFK still apply in this age of social media and the 24-hour news cycle. Optimism and courage are never more than a breath away. Right now, you can ask JFK’s timeless question of yourself. And in the asking, you can take your first step toward becoming a Grand American.”
“More than ever now, your country needs you to hope that it can be even more so. More than ever now, your country needs you to take up the call.” – Gene Lumsden
Gene wrote these inspiring words months ago, long before this war with the Covid-19 virus started. Yet it is amazing how prophetic they are for what we are going through now.
In Grand, Gene doesn’t just speak about us personally embracing these values. He also speaks to the importance of our business leaders embracing these values. Since most of my previous posts have been about the importance of corporate culture, I thought it would be appropriate to share some of Gene’s thoughts on the importance of the value he calls neighborliness in business.
“People in America used to care about each other and treat each other fairly and decently, even in business. In short, they were neighborly.”
“Here’s the bottom line. What you give, you get back, and usually it’s two or three times more than you gave. Healthcare isn’t just healthcare – it’s respect and consideration. Bonuses aren’t just bonuses – they’re recognition and appreciation. People feel the intention behind an action, and when it’s a good action, it creates a good feeling.”
“The first and most important consideration for any business should never be profit alone. You can’t make a profit unless you take care of your people. The two things go hand in hand.”
“A return to neighborliness would mean seeing people as people and caring about them and their lives – even in a business context. It would mean treating people fairly and well, regardless of how much power they hold. It would mean reducing the national anger level on a person-to-person basis.” – Gene Lumsden
In my previous blog post I spoke about how honored I am to be a part of the sporting goods family in this difficult time. I am particularly proud of my dealer friends who are on the front lines of this war against the virus. They are working hard to protect their employees and take care of their customers. They have truly embraced the concept of neighborliness.
In his book Gene asks us to consider – What is the point of you? Once this war on the virus is won, I hope that each of us carries on the value of neighborliness both in our personal lives and in our businesses. I hope that we continue to embrace “the point of you” is to lift up and care for our friends, family, and coworkers – our neighbors.
Thank you for reading this post. God bless you and God bless America!