Seems like good things come in “threes”. Just like this month’s “client of the month” in the February newsletter, Tom Olivo, has successfully divided multiple life elements into thirds, I have also noticed this somewhat consistent arrangement of groups of three almost everywhere. For example, Three Wise Men; the original Star Wars Trilogy; Earth, Wind, and Fire…and many more! So here are three brief stories about three great mentors and three bits of life-enhancing advice they offered.
The first triplet of wisdom comes from my father. Dad was a very insightful guy. He gave me many principles by which to live, and here are three simple and great ones. When I was a young boy, and he was the Scout Master, he said this about meeting someone: “Always look a person in the eye, give him or her a firm handshake, but not a bonecrusher (but not a “dead fish” either), and greet them with sincerity”. It worked then and it still works now. Making a human connection is important. No one was better at this than Dad.
Then there was a dude named Frank. Never knew his last name. Frank worked in the “fenced-in” cage in the basement of the student recreation center when I was an undergrad. He managed all the sports equipment inventoried in the bowels of the building. If you handed him your student ID through a small opening in the cage, he would hand you a basketball, or whatever it was you needed for recreation. Frank was always upbeat and cheerful, so much so, that me being me, one day I asked him, “Hey Frank, what’s your secret?” He instantly replied with his sage advice, “There are three things in life that you should never skimp on. The shoes you put on your feet, the bed you sleep in, and the food you put in your body.” I’m pretty sure I’ve read at least 15 books on those topics, and every author thought they came up with those ideas. I’m sure Frank wasn’t the first to get there either.
And the final entry in this piece is from a professor from graduate school, Tom Dezelsky. Dr. Tom was one of a handful of people I’ve known who could lecture professionally or talk casually about anything, and somehow every word that came out of his mouth was always captivating, entertaining, and thought-provoking. A lot of Tom’s work was in wellness program development and team-building in industry, and he was so sought-after that he had to turn down a lot of clients to maintain life balance. He was teaching a section that had to do with being in business in health promotion, but his advice applies to anyone, in any business. He said “First, be great at what you do. Combine your talents and drive and keep getting better. Next, be good at selling your services or products. Believe that they can provide value and meaning to other’s lives and find a way for them to know that. Finally, be the best at customer service. Your customers are your livelihood and make sure they know how much you appreciate them.” I don’t have an MBA, but I do have a minor in Business Administration, and have been a small business owner for 20 years. Tom was able to make 3 statements that pretty much sum up what we need to do to succeed, and do it in one minute.
All of these mentors showed me the mark of a good presenter. Make a concise statement that has huge meaning and leads you to fill in the blanks. Thanks Dad, Frank, and Tom!