Archive - March, 2007

Self Discipline

Jack_pidgeon_kiskiLong time good friend Joe Garcia sent me quite a character reminder today.  He forwarded a copy of headmaster Jack Pidgeon’s commencement address to our class at The Kiski031030kiskith_2
School.  I read it right away – I hadn’t heard it for more than twenty years.  The message resonated as vividly as the authoritative New England intonation and cadence I could hear delivering it.

Wonderfully written, it’s chock full of Mr. Pidgeon’s own warm memories that brought me momentarily back to boyhood.   In the speech he says, "The longer I live the more I believe that the essential factor which places some men above others is their superior capacity for self-discipline." Jack also reminds us to, "never, never, never, never, never quit." He goes on to remind us of how we are all capable:

"You don’t have to have been born with talent or brains or special abilities or a capacity for leadership.  You don’t even have to have been born tough.  The happiest fact of life is that the one ingredient we need the most is ours for the taking.  All you have to do to acquire it is this: beginning today, stop doing something you shouldn’t do and start doing each day something you know you should do."

Thanks Joe.  It was especially generous to send this out.  Reading "On Self-Discipline" was a heartwarming connection to the roots of my commitment to a life of character and principles. 

You can download "On Self-Discipline" by Jack Pidgeon here.

He stood me up

Have you had the experience of sitting in a restaurant or coffee shop and your date or business associate doesn’t show up?  I had this happen a few months ago. 

Frantic_manMy meeting mate had a bit of a reputation for being a bit of a
flake – he operates at a frenetic pace.  The kind of energy that you can tell is perhaps busy but not necessarily productive.  We were due to meet for coffee and discuss strategy for a local organization where we both serve as Board members.

He never showed up – not only that, but I sent him an email, text message and left voice mail messages on both his cell phone and office lines.  He never got in touch – no apology, no communication whatsoever. 

Fast forward a few months to a Board  workshop.  After milling around networking and getting coffee I returned to my chair to see an apology note and a $25 gift certificate for coffee.  I was cordial about it but still thought it was a low character move – a payoff of sorts for thoughtless behavior.  Sleazy_business_behavior

Fast forward again to a chance meeting with my mentor and advisory board member Dave DeRoos of CityGate Associates.  Dave is a character coach and we discussed the behavior of my coffee meet no-show.  He said,"I imagine this guy has a car full of gift cards, that way he never needs to be responsible for his behavior."  He also thought that perhaps I should have cut up the card…