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It Starts with a Story.

December 27, 2011

One of my favorite elements of the holidays, including all of the good food, family and crazy stocking stuffers, are stories. I love to hear the old family stories that have laid the foundation for where we are today. The crazy stories of great-grandparents taking great leaps of faith to start something in which they believed, that came to put all of their grandchildren and great grandchildren through college. Or even the old tales of strenuous manual farm labor during the summer course break.

It’s so incredible to examine our heritage. Today we’re so connected via Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare or whatever, that we have an idea of what’s going on around us in the lives of our family and friends. Within minutes I can pull up an album of my college graduation and look at similar photos that my friends have shared as they participated in that special day as well. Today our lives are greatly shared online. But we cannot forget to continue to tell the stories that were told to us from generations past. These are the stories of heartache and triumph, famine and feast. These are the foundations of who we are.

This principle is not only true in our personal lives, but also in business. Your people need to know where you’ve been. They need to know that they’re apart of something that is bigger than them and that they are building into something great.  Something that is worthy to have its story told someday.

So friends, be ready to tell your story. Tell someone where you’ve come from. Have the audacity to share of tribulation and fortune. And make sure to listen. Ask your family, or your organization what you’re building into or what you’re a part of.

Ronald Reagan once said, “Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation. You will have opportunities beyond anything we’ve ever known.” So go and create something worth passing on. Our past generations have given us wonderful shoulders on which to stand.

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