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Leadership Development: Extending the Thanks in Thanksgiving

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It is NEVER too late to give acknowledgement. It is never too late to “see through new eyes.” Anyone on a leadership track can learn from the amazing poem written by a man who just turned 60 to a father who is in his late 80’s.

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They ran a successful company together and both were in our Total Leadership Connections program in the past years.

Now finding great joy in the creative process they both are excellent models of living life fully.

Arthur, the father, was Chairman of the Board looking for something to keep his keen intellect alive and ended up taking a leap into the world of words. He went back to school to get his undergraduate degree (something he was not able to complete when World War II sent him on a different path.) The academic environment filled in a void and he went on to get a master’s degree in English in his mid-eighties.

Richard, the son was the CEO. The spas he ran had the beauty of color and water falls and simple serenity. He also took his talent in the visual arts and is an accomplished artist who has his works in many galleries as well as in a museum.

What does a sixty year old son have to say to his eighty seven year old father? The following poem says so much. Enjoy.

My Father's Eyes (By Richard Harris)

I saw my father pushing a cart in the store
It was busy with people shopping for Thanksgiving
I walked to his side to say hello
He turned as I approached
When he saw me he smiled
There was happiness and love in his eyes.

All the conversations between us
All the testosterone driven opinions and expectations
All the complications between a father and son who can sometimes hurt or wound with a careless word or phrase.
All the territorial positioning that can get in the way of two men who love and want the best for each other.
All the intensity that sometimes clouds the specialness of a shared humor and the emotional intelligence of a good cry.

All these things
All these feelings
All this time spent looking

A split second in a sixty year relationship
A loving thundering crescendo
A simply defined moment
The look of joy in my father's eyes.

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