My Uncle Keith… actually my Great Uncle Keith passed away a couple of days ago. He was a great guy. I didn’t really know him that well, but regardless I feel that he was a valuable part of my childhood and I really think I learned a couple of important things from him for life and business as well.
- Be interested. My uncle Keith was always interested in me as a kid. And my brothers as well. Lego, our studies, our hobbies, whatever. He was just interested. He knew what we were into and he was genuinely interested in it. To be honest, I’m not really that interested in what everyone around me is doing. But, I could be a better person in my general life and business if I paid more attention to what those around me are interested in.
- Don’t disrespect others. I never once heard uncle Keith speak badly about anyone. That included anyone in the family. And God only knows my family has it’s share of internal politics and intrigues like any other family. But he never once disrespected, gossiped about, or put down anyone. At least not in my hearing. I struggle with this. My natural inclination is to take a cynical sideswipe at everyone and everything around me that deserves it… You know they do. Anyway, I need to be more like uncle Keith. I’m not going to indulge in the luxury of inbred infighting and intrigues. That goes for my field of business as well as family.
- Put your money where your mouth is. This is important. When we were real little and really into lego, uncle Keith came round one day with a present. It was the latest thing. He knew we were into lego and he’d bought us a lego motor. It was amazing. I mean, imagine being able to motorize your lego contraptions. It was the coolest thing for us and had a profound influence on our play and the kind of things that we were able to then build and develop. This one small purchase probably shaped our young minds more than we realize. I want to be like that with my own family, in business, and others around me.
Rest in peace Keith. You were a great guy. I respect you.