The Inspiration for siY
(It's not from where you may think.)
Being the son of two teachers for approximately 40 years was a great experience for me, yet not one that gave me as much insight about business as others would provide later in my life. Sitting and having a conversation each night with my elderly Grandma was another source of great wisdom, yet again, not much was talked about “business.”
These statements seem true, right? Perhaps at face value. Thinking more deeply about what inspired me at a young age, I realize it was actually my parents’ teaching professions combined with the ups and downs of my grandma’s life – spanning two world wars, a depression, the loss of a husband and deep faith – that provided the sources of very precise insight into my career. (Ironically, Grandma was trained as a bookkeeper and worked until her early thirties and then again after her husband died when she was in her ’60s. She was born in 1888, attended business school and used shorthand until she died at 100 years of age.)
Through the course of my career as a business leader, I became passionate about several things: caring about people, listening for real issues, focusing on education and creating opportunity for people by believing in their personal uniqueness (the ‘rock inside’ that just needs to be polished each day).
The inspiration for siY came from my recognition that the insight gleaned from my family was correct. It became the foundation for my business philosophy: be relentless in building the right environment and extraordinary outcomes can result.
So, siY was created after three decades of corporate life. Fortunately for me, early in my career, certain Senior Executives took an interest in me. They guided me in ways that challenged my mind and taught me that tough decisions must be made.
Most importantly, I learned that great achievement in business does not mean that values must be sacrificed. It was through this understanding, along with the ideals instilled from my family, that siY was born.
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Leaders who avoid or do not recognize the art of ‘leading from the heart’ soon become mechanical and uninspiring managers.