Weekly Thought – June 23, 2020
Fred thought in pictures. His ability to pass visuals along to his audiences endeared him to all who listened. They carried home more than words, even more than principles – they had a concept they could picture.
As we mentioned before, it is time to update the breakfastwithfred.com website. Like all of us, it has aches and pains. If you would help us underwrite this process, any gift is greatly appreciated. Thanks for praying for us.
Fiat 500s and Rolls Royce limousines have a commonality: they both have a wheelbase. The big difference is the distance between the front and back wheels. The shorter the wheelbase, the more quickly the impact of road bumps is felt and the rougher the ride. It doesn’t affect the ability to arrive at the destination – it does impact the comfort of the passengers.
Nearly sixty years in business has given me ample opportunities to put this visual into practice.
A baby has a short emotional wheelbase. He or she goes from crying to laughing and back to crying with very little provocation – and time. My grandson Jeff often heard me speak of this principle. When he and his wife Anne began raising their family this came back to him. I overheard him telling baby Jack who was crying in his high chair, “LYW, Jack, LYW.” When I asked what he said, he told me: ‘Lengthen your wheelbase, Jack.”
As we grow, our emotional wheelbase should lengthen. We learn the bad is never that bad and the good is never that good. The mature learn to live with a balance understanding and practicing, “This, too, shall pass.” Emotional maturity allows us to face crisis without giving in to the panic of the environment. Under the glass on my desk are lines from the poem “If.” “If you can keep your head when all those around are losing theirs…” At the end of the litany of ifs is the famous line, “Then you, my son, are a man.”
Yet, some executives maintain their childish short emotional wheelbase. You cross them and they scream; you please them and you are the recipient of flowery clichés. They are weak leaders and fail to engender great loyalty and trust.
The winner who stretches his emotional wheelbase enjoys greater success. And it is infinitely easier on the organization, the community, the family – and their own bodies.
This week carefully consider: 1) How long is my emotional wheelbase? Am I driving a Smart Car or a limo? 2) What exercises can I do to move toward maturity? 3) What picture am I taking away this week?
Words of Wisdom: “The winner who stretches his emotional wheelbase enjoys greater success.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Therefore we must progress beyond the elementary instructions about Christ and move on to maturity.” (Hebrews 6:1(a) NET Bible)