give your blessing…daily

If you haven’t seen the Steve Jobs movie yet, let me just say, it’s pretty painful to watch. Being a huge Apple product disciple, it’s really amazing to me that Steve had such weak leadership skills. Sadly, in every area of his life.

Steve Jobs – the movie

Reverse images of the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, raced through my mind as I watched how Steve Jobs dealt with everyone around him. He constantly crushed the spirit of his young daughter, her mother, his team and all those closest to him in the workplace. Yet in the eyes of the world, he is the icon of success.

I’ve always said that you really learn more from bad bosses than good ones, and man is this movie a good example of that.

From back in the Old Testament days to modern times, there is nothing more important to those that look up to you than to receive a blessing from you.

In those days, it was actually a formal ceremony, given to the oldest son from his father. The most famous blessing gone bad, was when Jacob and his mother (Rebekah), tricked Isaac (due to his bad eyesight) into believing that Jacob was actually Esau (the eldest son) -essentially stealing the blessing.

Jacob (Israel) went on to be the father of the 12 Tribes and gave his blessings to his sons as depicted below. Jacob’s blessings

Jacob blessing Joseph

In our modern society we no longer have the formal blessing ceremonies, but make no mistake, the longing for the blessing exists none the less.

I’ll always remember when my boys were young and we’d go to the city pools in Weatherford and Altus, Oklahoma. We always drew in a crowd of other boys because I was spending time with my sons teaching them how to swim and they just wanted to be near us. As Jared and Travis would hit a milestone, whether it was going underwater or diving off a board for the first time, doing their first flip off the boards or swimming underwater across the entire width of the pool; I was there to cheer them on and let them know how proud I was of them. I can’t tell you how many times other kids would say; “watch me, watch me”. Starving for the attention (blessing) of a parent.

As my boys grew up, the specifics changed but the results didn’t. Whether it was playing golf, coaching their little league team, fishing, camping, snow skiing, church camp, Sunday School or work, they got their daddy’s blessing (teachings) daily. To this day, even though they are now 41 & 36, and 800 miles away, there is not a week that goes by or sometimes a day that goes by, that we aren’t in touch with each other. Sharing victories, struggles, sports scores or just jokes.

Melanie has been the same way with Taylor. Building value into her life every step of the way. She coached her little league teams, taught her life’s lessons along the way and has shared many special moments throughout the years giving her encouragement to just be the best she can be. “Do not compare yourself with others; just do the best you can do and that is good enough.”

This my friends, is Intentional Legacy Building.

It’s also very important to know/learn that this is exactly the missing element in most work places today. If you think about how many hours a week you spend on the job, it’s probably more than you spend at home (awake). Those are viable relationships and are on all levels, inner circle and outer circle. Your peers, your direct reports and your indirect reports.

Whether it’s just a “hello, how was your weekend, vacation, ballgame your son/daughter was in, anniversary dinner, etc.”. Or a quick comment about a presentation, sales or margin milestone hit, or negotiation in a meeting that was off the charts! You’re giving out a blessing. I’ve learned that after you’ve asked someone to host a call or host a meeting, they will most likely be waiting after it’s over for you to stop by and let them know how they did. (Don’t make them ask) No matter the age or position of those around you, they need to hear from you.

In the movie, Steve Jobs is walking down a hallway before a product launch and one of his team members comes through the door, all the time looking at Steve, as they pass, the team member says, “Hi Steve”. Nothing.

“Woz” (Steve Wozniak), the Apple co-founder with Steve begs him before every launch to acknowledge the Apple II team from the stage. “Woz” understands how hard his team has worked to make Apple a successful company and how they starve for just a brief acknowledgement (blessing) of that hard work. Jobs refused.

In another scene, Steve actually threatened to expose during the launch, the failure of programmer (Andy Hertzfeld) to get the computer to say, “Hello”. Andy never forgot this. It’s the best example of a reverse blessing. Again, what NOT to to.

My favorite part of the movie was when Steve’s head of marketing, Joann Hoffman (Kate Winslet) , finally told him the raw truth about what’s important in his life. His daughter. She told him to “fix it.” ….she’d been a witness to 19 years of failure on his part to be a good father. “What you make isn’t supposed to be the best part of you. Being a father, that’s what’s supposed to be the best part of you.”

Your legacy. Your blessing.

Even I need blessings from my boss. Which I got this week. I didn’t do anything big, but he acknowledged my performance none the less. Blessing.

Melanie gives me her blessing all the time. No doubt that she is my biggest fan.

Meme & Papa never visit without giving me their blessing.

If you know Ken & Sharon Delfeld. You know they are blessing givers. They’ve been the best example in my life on learning how to connect with people. If you watch them at any family gathering they give their full attention to each person there, one-on-one, regardless of their age. They spend time with them hearing their story and giving encouragement. (blessing)

Every time I talk to my Uncle Charles Seigrist, he gives me his blessing. What a gift.

Since you are now very aware of the blessing, I want to challenge you! Don’t let a moment go by this week without giving it. Freely. To your spouse, your children, your team members , your boss, your friends, your inner circle and your outer circle. Heck, even a stranger. “Watch me, watch me!”

If you had a camera recording their face after you walk away. You’d do it every time.