How would you define courage? For one Vietnam veteran, it meant honoring his fallen brothers by returning to battle to save a next generation of soldiers. Today, IBFL continues a 12-part series of stories and excerpts from Brad's 2017 book, "In Business For Life: What Being In Business For Life Has Taught Me About the Business of Life." These are funny, painful, reflective and, above all, redemptive moments chronicling Brad's professional and personal peaks and valleys. For more information about Brad or In Business For Life, visit www.InBusinessForLife.org.
Doing your best means giving your best effort with the best possible attitude, recognizing that both are always within your control. Doing your best means working hard and smart, while living a balanced life. Working hard does not mean over-working to the neglect of one’s health, family and other higher priorities. Working hard does mean that, for brief seasons, life balance may be impossible to maintain, but we are deeply committed to restoring it as soon as possible.
Much of what I’ve said to our five children during my 39 years of fatherhood has fallen upon deaf and distracted ears. There is one thing, however, that to this day each of them can recite at gunpoint. I can see them now with their eyeballs rolling back into their heads whenever I would ask them my favorite question, “What are the only two things that you can always control in life?” They’d bemoan their reply (think Eeyore to Pooh), “Yeah Dad, we know…effort and attitude.” “That’s right, kids!” I’d say. “Everything else is partially or completely out of your control.”
I’ve thought about my 1-2 effort-attitude punch a great deal over nearly four decades now. It may be slightly overstated, but not by much. I like it for two primary reasons. First, it takes away any excuses for not giving your best effort while having the best possible attitude. It’s simply unacceptable to do otherwise, because both are completely in your control. Second, it helps you stay laser-focused on that which you can control, so you don’t have time or energy to worry about the myriad of things you can’t.
To speak the truth in love is to communicate accurately with proper motive and with the best interests of our listeners at heart. There is no middle ground between honesty and dishonesty—to deceive is to be dishonest.
We believe that the highest compliment we can pay to someone is to listen with understanding, while listening poorly can be highly offensive.
I’ve heard my friend, Dr. Tim Gardner, speak on many occasions. I wholeheartedly agree with his thought-provoking mantra—“The heart cry of every person is to know and be known and to love and be loved.” I further believe that knowledge of and love for another human being begins by listening with understanding to their heart cries.
By Brad Lindemann
By Brad Lindemann
My company, Ambassador Solutions, is about serving people. We believe that our best interests are ultimately served by putting the interests of others before our own. Such service includes the giving of our time, talents and treasures (individually and corporately) to those less fortunate. We do this in hopes of improving their quality of life today and their odds for a better life tomorrow. We do this in hopes of doing what we can to change the world for the better.
Since that memorable April Fools’ Day in 1989, we’ve run our business with the absolute conviction that our best interests are served by putting the best interests of our clients, candidates and employees before our own. This can only be done consistently by taking a long-term view of every relationship and every decision. Today’s expedient move can lay the traps for tomorrow’s unforeseen setback. Maximizing short-term profit can minimize long-term growth.
It’s not always easy to determine what’s best for all parties. Realizing this some years ago, I started thinking in terms of God’s best versus the best. They are, of course, one in the same, yet framing the issue from God’s perspective has really helped mine. After all, most matters of substance call for wisdom that only He can provide, so why not start there?
To humbly serve others, to lead by serving, is a counter-intuitive concept, but one that’s been around for millennia. However, the modern concept and phrase “servant leadership” was first articulated by Robert K. Greenleaf in 1970. With the publishing of Greenleaf’s first essay entitled “The Servant as Leader,” a global counter-cultural leadership movement was born. Today, the Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership is located in Westfield, Indiana, about a mile north of our home in Carmel-By-The-Retention-Pond.
By Brad Lindemann
A company that is In Business For Life nurtures the dignity of all people, starting with its own people.