One Book and 3700 Emails Later! – Never give up

Good morning. It’s early here on the west coast of Canada. I love this time of year. Because we are so far north, as we approach summer solstice, the days get longer and we have a lot of light.

For those of us that live in this part of the world, it is a welcome change from the darkness of winter, where the days are very short.

I woke up this morning thinking about the importance of “perseverance”. I’ll start with a definition:

per·se·ver·ance/ˌpərsəˈvi(ə)rəns/

Noun:
  1. Steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

I recently met a wonderful man in our community who leads one of the most amazing multi-unit restaurant operations in the world! A $3 billion concern! To protect his privacy, he will remain nameless.

I had such a special personal experience on my visit, and am so moved by his perseverance and his fantastic company culture, that I feel compelled to share some thoughts with those of you that follow my posts.

At our meeting, he thanked me for “my perseverance” and I was humbled by his kindness. He invited me into his “private space” and truth be told, what I saw before me was probably one of the most incredible things I have ever seen in business.

In his workspace, on his walls, was floor to ceiling white boards. On these boards, you could see his passion, his genius and his “perseverance”. To me, it was fascinating. Why? Because I too write on my walls! All the time! I imagine the impossible, and I put these hair brained thoughts on my walls! If I had a nickel for every time I had to get the walls painted! I started to write on my walls many years ago, without white boards. I have since realized that it is cheaper for me to put up boards rather than writing on the drywall. Took a long time to figure that one out!

Those who are close to me, know that I am always trying to think of better ways. Playing with language is a lot of fun for me, and I have new ideas constantly. Unless I put them on my walls, I either forget them, or lose the essence of what inspired my thoughts. It was outstanding to see this leader’s creative process. I felt very connected to him.

So, what is it about this concept of “perseverance”?

Then it came to me this morning. It’s connected to our belief system. We cannot persevere if we don’t believe. If we persevere on an idea that is not authentically real for us, we would be lost. We could never “sell” an idea that we didn’t think had any true benefits. That would make us “fake” and because people are so smart, they would sniff it out. We’d be con artists. The lot of us!

As we wrapped up the meeting, this kind man said to me, “Erle, let’s find a way to work together. We need more time with you. We can’t just jump into something so deep after only one meeting, one book and 3700 emails from you!”

“Of course”, I said.

Since my visit, this man has become my friend and colleague. We trade intellectual ideas. I have been influenced by his passion, leadership and kindness. As I left his office, I hoped that I would be back soon. That would be to my good fortune.

The weeks have passed now, and we continue to evolve our discussions and try to find ways to help each other. I woke up this morning, wondering if he has reserved any “White Space on his Walls” for me?

I think if I persevere, and if he is reading this, (and i hope he is), he may just take some time out of his day today to scratch out a spot for me with his dry erase markers. Perhaps he might even snap a photo with his iPhone and send it to me? Wouldn’t that be a great way to end another week!

I should be so lucky. Enjoy your day!