Parting Words: I Am on Vacation

July and August is the time for a vacation. I am either at the beach or mountains, on the golf course, reading a book, or watching television. I am not thinking about writing this column. But I need to fill up the back page, so here goes with some of my favorite thoughts that may or may not have appeared before in this column.

In a perfect world, life would be fair. But that is not relevant given the reality that the world we live in is not always fair. You should expect things to go your way because you have that right, but when something happens in your life that you do not like, fairness has nothing to do with it. No one is guaranteed a life of health and constant happiness. We all know of books that tell us that bad things really do happen to good people. Bad things also happen to bad people. And what is worse yet, really good things happen to really bad people. Things and people you like and don’t like are all a part of being alive.

Have you ever had to face major change in your personal or professional life? Did you feel fear? A “yes” answer means you are pretty normal and in the big basket with the rest of us. I have known many really tough people I could not imagine ever being fearful of any situation, but they are. Regardless of how tough or good you are, fear is natural. I suspect that if you aren’t feeling a little fear, you are probably playing it too safe, and that should be enough right there to scare you. L’audace, l’audace, toujours l’audace.

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Did I mention golf? Golf is a game of personal integrity and self-improvement. So much of what the loss prevention professional faces in his or her career also revolves around personal integrity and a commitment to self-improvement.

The best vendor account manager I ever had was a person who was interested in my success and not just selling something. He would ask me now I was doing personally. He said “please” and “thank you.” He shared his company’s agenda and future product plans. He introduced me to others in his company, especially the bosses. He always returned my calls quickly and responded to my needs. The bottom line is there is often just a “dimes difference” in competitive products, but the little things can mean a lot in being the best.

Have you ever wondered why some people just seem to get a lot of pats on the back? How do some people get a reputation for being a person who knows how to get things done? There are many LP executives who fit these descriptions. Hopefully you are one of them.

It is true that your whole career will be shaped by your surroundings, by the character of the people with whom you come in contact every day. But how do you know you are with the “right” people? I use a very simple rule—they make me feel good, positive, and upbeat, and I have no fear of what they might do in our relationship. I trust them.

“One piece of advice that I believe will contribute more to making you a better leader, will provide you with greater happiness and self-esteem, and at the same time advance your career more than any other advice I can provide to you. And it doesn’t call for any certain chemistry. Any of you can do it. And that advice is that you must care.” Advice from US Army General Melvin Zais of the 101st Airborne.

“Making a difference in someone else’s life can be as simple as a smile, lifting a hand to help, or lending an ear to listen, especially when it might be easier to ignore the opportunity. Each day is a new day and a new chance to use what you’ve worked for and been given to light someone else’s load. It’s never too late to choose to move beyond success to significance.” Thoughts from retired US Army General Becky Halstead.

Growing up, my mother would sometimes say to my brother and me, “I am sick and tired of your behavior.” She put such emphasis on sick and tired that it was disturbing and frightening, and often led to some type of punishment. There were other occasions—not as many—where she would say, “I am pleased as punch with you two.” To this day I am not sure what punch had to do with anything, but I knew it was good stuff, and she was proud of us. There is much going on in our world of loss prevention and asset protection. For me, I am sick and tired of some of it, and I am pleased as punch with other things. Overall, I think I am more pleased as punch than sick and tired. That is a good feeling.

Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

Okay, I’m done. Back to vacation. I will see many of you at the upcoming Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF) Learning Day September 30th in Gainesville the day prior to the LPRC’s Impact conference or at the magazine annual meeting with RILA and LPF in beautiful Hilton Head Island, SC, October 23–25.

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