My Leadership Begins at Home tagline once again came to mind a couple of weekends ago as I attended the college graduation of my daughter Sarah.
It's official ... there's a new Mercer Bear in the world.
I remember our first trip to Build-a-Bear like it was yesterday ... only it wasn't. It was fifteen years ago that we first set foot in a mall (remember those) to pay an insane amount of money to design a teddy bear. A teddy bear that honestly looked like every other teddy bear.
Looking back, the first bear cost little in comparison to the college bear, and I'm not referring to tuition. I'm talking about a higher price. Truthfully the latest version has cost me my life. Every precious ounce of life. All my prayers, cares, hopes, dreams, and yes, even my money. So many bedtime stories, front porch chats, soccer practices, and tanks of gas have represented the price tag. And if you ask me, worth every second and every penny.
For leaders the temptation is to focus on the nine to five, those hours that represent work. The idea of Leadership Begins at Home is more about what happens from five to nine ... kids aren't the only ones who need to be doing homework.
As a father, I can tell you there are few things that compare to the joy of watching your kids grow up, knowing you have attempted to be fully present.
Along the way I learned you can read all the Dr. Seuss bedtime stories in the world, attend every game, even show up for an occasional tea party, and still miss the moments.
Let me warn you ... technology will tempt you. Your schedule will seduce you. Leadership will lure you. And if you're not extra careful graduation will represent regret.
Thankfully, my daddy regrets are few, but I do wish I had respected the time more and been even more locked in. It was hard to appreciate just how fast it would pass.
In a few weeks most kids will go back to school, but one of mine won't. No, our time for back to school shoes and backpacks has passed.
I'm glad my wife and I took the time to build a bear. This one very real. Costly, but now priceless.
Way to go kid. You were worth it!
Leadership Begins at Home,
Feel free to leave Sarah a word of wisdom in the comment section below ...
I want to thank each of you who faithfully read and pass along my content to your friends and co-workers. Over the next few weeks I will be taking an extended blog break to spend extra time doing Homework. I hope you will too!