I know that everyone is busy this week so I thought I would lighten things up with an exploration of one of my favorite Christmas movies, "It's A Wonderful Life." This will be my only post this week (no cheering please) and I am going to explore some simple yet powerful lessons from our friend George Bailey. *Spoiler Alert* If you have not seen this movie; shame on you and don't read any further lol!
People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care!
If you haven't already done so write this down as THE number one lesson on being a genuine leader. George had tremendous impact on the folks at Bedford Falls because he cared. Whether it was saving his little brother in an ice skating accident, preventing Mr. Gower from poisoning a patient or keeping his business margins thin so that the poorer folks in town could afford to own homes, George Bailey showed he cared. During the war George was involved with the war effort at home and never shirked his civic responsibilities. There were others that perhaps were more wealthy but when push came to shove people listened to George.
George Bailey had a strong personal compass!
Regardless of where his life wound up George Bailey had a personal compass that kept him true to who he was. He had big dreams as a young man but his commitment and sense of duty kept him running his father’s Building and Loan. He stayed true to that all through his life and it served him well. When there was a run on the banks he was able to have others buy into his vision just enough to keep the business open. (Of course it also had a lot to do with the first point.) Later on when Old Man Potter tried to lure him away with visions of money and security it was his personal compass that steered him out of the trap!
George & Mary Bailey built a life, they didn't buy one and mortgage it!
Perhaps one of the most endearing aspects of this excellent study of his life are the sacrifices that both he and his wife and childhood sweetheart Mary were prepared to make in order to secure a better life down the road. From buying the old Granville house at 320 Sycamore because it was what they could afford, to using their honeymoon money to keep the Building and Loan afloat or just driving an old run down car, they skimped where they could. No sacrifice was too small so that they could build a better future for themselves and their family.
Of course much of this is with a little tongue in cheek; but not too much. George and Mary were "every couple" USA and as such represented a generation who were very much of that mold. Where we are at the end of 2016 I see as very similar. For many it has been a hard couple of years. Sacrifices have had to be made and difficult times have tested relationships to be sure. But there is something to be said about the resiliency of the human race in trying times. We are forged as much by our failures as we are by our successes!
So to all of you who have struggled this year, to all of you who have had a great year, let us salute this "wonderful life!" May you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Never stop caring, never lose your way and never stop building your life! Performance Leadership - Think About It!