The Wisdom Of Solomon You Never Know Who Is Watching…-actv

Leadership The FBR Open, formerly known as The Phoenix Open is one of the golf worlds largest stages. It over a half million, sometimes rowdy (remember the whole tiger wood’s getting an orange thrown at him thing?), golf enthusiasts to it’s pristinely manicured, desert bordered, greens and fairways. The backbone of this Tournament is a somewhat mysterious charitable organization called the Thunderbirds. The Thunderbirds organization is .prised of 55 men and has been positively influencing the valley of the sun through numerous charitable outlets since 1937. I had been volunteering for the Thunderbirds thru my-life long friend, and future Thunderbird hopeful, David Eriksson. I guess, out of either my .petence or lack of willingness on the part of anyone else, I had been charged with the of role quasi 18th Skybox manager. Obviously I was drinking up the chance to rub shoulders with the elite leaders of industry, movers and shakers and celebrities that would call Sky Box 18 home over the four days of the tournament. One such powerful personality was a gentleman named Richard Gleason. Mr. Gleason is the Phoenix Director of Merrill Lynch. Upon first first glance it’s clear how someone like Richard could climb to the levels he’s reached within the financial service industry. Richard is a handsome, charismatic, approachable and eloquent man. Through my eagerness to please, Mr. Gleason quickly learned to rely on me for just about anything he needed at the Open. A call to run and pick up a Merrill Lynch VIP. A voice mail describing what he was expecting from us in terms of service for his highly desirable and expensive Double Decker Sky Box perched high above the finishing green of the FBR Open. Richard’s requests were not outlandish. They were the same things that I would be looking for if had made that significant of an investment into the Open. With each fulfilled request I felt that I was gaining Richard’s approval and more importantly his acceptance. Slowly, he began to let me into his world. Brent, he would say, "we are expecting these clients in today. They are some of the most important account holders that Merrill Lynch has – please help me to make this day wonderful for them". Of course, I did everything in my power to ac.modate Mr. Gleason as well as his VIP’s. One of the major challenges to Merrill Lynch’s Sky Box at on the 18th at the FBR is that there is an emergency exit staircase leading down to the general public concourse. So much of FBR Security’s job was to merely steer away the over-eager frat-boys looking to sneak a free drink, some catered food, and maybe a better perch from which to view that years action. On one occasion I was watching a foursome play through to the 18th fairway. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed some gentlemen arguing with the poor rent-a-cop security girl down at the bottom of the staircase leading to the Merrill Lynch box. Not wanting to get involved, I simply hoped from a far that these overambitious gentlemen would get a clue and walk the one-hundred yards around the stand to the main entrance. As time passed, it became clear to me that these guys were only going to create more and more of a scene. Not all that eager to engage, I reluctantly walked down the stairs and entered into the mayhem. Immediately I was informed by the most vocal of the bunch that they were Merrill Lynch VIP’s and had every right to be in the Box. I acknowledged their entitlement yet refused to cave in to their laziness. I described how this was an emergency exit and was not to be used as ingress and egress from the Box. At this point the somewhat inebriated ring leader’s tone moved a bit more towards belligerence. The F’Bomb was flying and the tempers of the group began to rage. As a side note, I don’t claim to be the most .posed person traditionally in heated situations like that, I’ve been know to let my emotions get the best of me at times. However, on this day, at that moment, I was calm, strong and persistent. What happened next just popped in my mind and rolled off my tongue, I said, in strength and confidence, gentlemen your only option in terms of reclaiming your rightful seats in the Sky Box is to walk around the stands and enter thru the main Security Check Point. When, once again, they scoffed at that suggestion, I said boldly ".e on, I’ll walk with you just as gesture of good-will". So I started off, with determination and a driven stride. I began to walk and, surprisingly, they began to follow. We made it the hundred or so yards around the stand. As an attempt to smooth things over I walked them through the security line as if they were really important because everyone within ear-shot that day was sure of one thing – these guys sure thought that they were pretty important. Before I knew it it was over and they were on their way. I guess in the back of my mind I wondered if they would .plain to their leadership about what they perceived as an injustice towards them. I tried to put it out of my mind and continue on with my day. Towards the end of that third round of championship play, Richard called me and asked me to stop by his box. I thought to myself, oh great here it .es. I must have offended one of his clients… I thought for sure I was going to hear about it. Richard pulled me aside and said Brent, I have witnessed a lot of heated discussions, I have been directly in the middle of tremendously intense negotiations between powerful men and enormous egos, but never have I seen a situation like I just watched play out handled so wisely and effectively. You could have stood from your position of authority and forced those guys to submit to it – but rather you chose to walk in their shoes, never requiring them to do something you, yourself were not willing to do. Well done, he said! Richard became my friend that day. I had gained the trust and admiration of a Giant. I didn’t know he was watching. The thought never entered my mind to look around and see who might be eavesdropping on that episode. I guess thats my point. You never know who is watching you or listening to you or making mental notes about how you respond when pushed or beat-up a little. I’ve heard the word integrity defined as, "what you do when no one is watching". The good news is on that day, in that moment I acted wisely with resolute character. You never know when someone you admire will be observing. In the weeks to .e Mr. Gleason’s appreciation was reiterated through a hand-written note. Here’s an excerpt, "…Thank you for all of your hard work! Thanks to you the Merrill Lynch clients had a great time…" My mentor Gerry Engle, founder of a hugely successful development .pany in the Vail Valley called the Atira Group, once told me, "Brent, all you have to do to be successful at sales is to merely do 5% more than the top producer". I think that rule applies to much more than just sales. Respond 5% more gracious than the person across from you in an argument, give 5% more of your time and effort and energy and resources to a cause dear to your heart. I’ve done my best to implement that advice into my world. It’s hard, it goes back to being intentional about life. I’m sure it will be a life-lone pursuit for me. How about you? 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