Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Seeing the New Economy in My Little Girl

I had the pleasure of watching my niece and my daughter complete their First Communion ceremonies this past weekend. The event is an important spiritual day in our family and faith traditions. Because of the importance it was both inspiring and comforting to watch the two girls display their maturity, confidence and control in following the programs.

A true sense of pride filled me as I watched my little girl walk with her hands held together in prayer around the church in the entrance processional. Another sense of joy along with a pang of separation filled me as I further watched her intently listen to the full mass; her eyes widening as Father Jack spoke directly to the communicants during his Homily.

The pang came from realizing again that my little girl won’t be my little girl much longer. Even though we continually tell her how she will always be our little girl, we know that we can’t stop her growing for one second. And that bittersweet want and ‘unwant’ of her moving down her own life path will only intensify. I thought about this as I watched her in her white dress and veil looking like a miniature bride. And then another sense came over me; a sense of wonder.

As I watched her and the rest of her class line up to take their first communion, I was struck with the realization that all of these young children are growing up. Not only are they growing up, but they represent the future participants of our economy. In fact, they are our future economy.

I watched their actions now more intently noticing the precision of their moves. I noticed how organized they were. I noticed how respectful they were. I noticed how well they followed instructions and moved in sequence to what was obviously a rehearsed ceremony. And when any one of them was confused, they looked immediately to their elder instructor for advice and guidance. Then it really hit me. They will be looking for us for advice and guidance as they build their economy.

If you are wondering what the future economy holds, watch these young children. Admire and praise them when they accomplish even these seemingly simple feats. To them it’s not simple. Then look into yourself and know that we owe it to them to build the world economy back on a solid foundation. When they look to us for advice and guidance, they should see the results not just hear the words. We can create lottery winnings for each of them through leadership by example with this economic recovery. It’s not just about us; it’s also about them.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Rising above the times

On Wednesday, April 1 our Rise Above The Times team completed our first seminar helping those who have been downsized or under-employed by these economic conditions. The purpose of our seminars is to provide some hope and inspiration, then give practical skills on networking, resume writing and interviewing. We end the seminar with a brief look at financial options. See our website for information: http://www.riseabovethetimes.com/.

The feedback we received from the 18 or so attendees was very positive. We received high marks for our speaking styles and the content; particularly around the networking topic. Each of us as speakers was able to bring our personal stories to the event. That really helped to make a connection with the audience.

As nice as it was to read the survey comments after the event, the best feedback possible came during one of the breaks. After 90 minutes we took our first break and I stood by the door talking with one of the attendees. Another attendee, a gentleman who had been unemployed for some time and was getting ready to sell his house, patted me on the back as he walked back into the conference room and said, “Thank you for what you are doing.”

A simple, sincere, unsolicited thank you let us know that all the hours of planning, scheduling and rehearsing; all the issues and mitigation plans were well worth it. With that one comment we all won a piece of the lottery and we look forward to winning more pieces over the next several months.