“Don’t get old,” she told me as she struggled to get out of the chair and grabbed onto my arm for balance.
First of all, she wasn’t old in my opinion. She was sixty-seven. But, that’s not what bothered me. I hear this said a lot during the day. So many patients want to blame their age for all of their physical difficulties. And I get that I’m not aging like they are yet and cannot truly understand their experience. Whether right or not, I still get frustrated.
Smoking, a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, and an overall neglect for her body may be more to blame than simply the passing of her sixty-seven years. Especially when she told me in the previous session that she only drinks diet coke and hasn’t drank water in fourteen years. She said it like it was some kind of accomplishment as if she beat the system. They say you need to drink 8 glasses of water, but I don’t...
This was no ordinary phone meeting. I thoroughly enjoyed it. What I thought was going to be another phone call about performance systems with a professional sports team turned out to be an engaging conversation about how to improve culture in an organization through your hiring process and through personnel development. But it ended in the most unusual way. I will never forget it.
“Phil, I know you are busy and I have already taken 45 minutes of your time, but can I ask one final question.... What books are you reading or what have you currently read that you would recommend?"
WOW! I was floored. This guy is at the top of his profession and was asking me what books I am reading. I told everyone I knew about this conversation and the question at the end. I am a huge subscriber to the leaders are readers concept. But this took my perspective to another level. I even discussed this question with my mentor. Why was this question so impactful to me?
1. The question showed humility