Four reflections before Christmas


It’s been an interesting month for me and I want to share it.

First, and very sadly, I learned of the continuing deterioration in the health of an employee working at one of my clients. While the doctors are still treating her, which is a very hopeful sign, she has, unfortunately, spent more time in the hospital lately than at home.

This is a very special individual to me; during my battle with cancer in 2016, she was one of what I called my guardian angels, providing ideas and tips to deal with the biopsy, surgery, chemo and radiation I underwent. She had been through the same battle in 2012 and her advice allowed me to be much more aware of what I was dealing with and also to be much more comfortable than I might have been.

Sadly, her cancer returned and she’s fighting it for a second time.

I share this because each of us has someone in their lives going through some type of health issue today. I recommend reaching out and letting those in this situation know now that you care and are available to help them. Those words alone will make a positive difference in their life and yours.

Second, I had the good fortune to bring in a speaker for prospects, clients and business associates earlier this month. My speaker, Alex Goldfayn, has written several books on business and the one I asked him speak on was “The Revenue Growth Habit: The Simple Art of Growing Your Business by 15% in 15 Minutes a Day.”

This isn’t a plug for Alex but I will share that his system is easy and is requires a short plan. What you need to achieve the results he says can be created is the discipline to follow through. If you want more revenue in 2018, start with Alex’s book. It’s a good investment.

Third, those of you who read my weekly columns know that I facilitate what are known as CEO Peer groups. These are advisory boards for small and midsize business owners, company presidents and CEOs who need outside input and perspective from other people at the top, those who “have been there and done that.”

The other night ten of us gathered for dinner in what is now becoming an annual affair. The formal group, which was together for over 14 years, no longer meets each month.

While the focus of the group was on business and its challenges, we created deep friendships through the years. Our annual planning retreats ranged from Santa Barbara to Scottsdale and included spouses. Soon the relationship web extended to include sons, daughters, siblings, in-laws.

These friendships live on. And they are strong.

Not many of us give much thought about who we would want to have attend our final service, or who we would want to speak about us before we are laid to rest, but I can tell you that these fine people, clients and former clients, would clamor to stand and say good things about each other, telling stories and sharing some of the more humorous tales of their experiences together.

Fourth, I want to share one of the most rewarding things my wife and I did this holiday season, and it’s not too late for you to participate.

One of my clients is a strong supporter of a nonprofit that provides services to those who are less fortunate. The organization works with families and provides services to help immigrants assimilate into our country.

As you might expect, these individuals, these families, are what we call the working poor.

I have empathy for these folks; I was one of them as a child. There were no silver spoons in my house.

The organization reached out to my client and asked if any of the employees would “adopt a child” this Christmas and my wife and I picked a young man named Matthew who had submitted his list to Santa.

Matthew is nine, and the most urgent things on his list were clothes. Since my wife teaches fourth grade, and kids that age can be of varying sizes, we thought it would be best to buy gift cards for the clothes and then some other things to check off his wish list. We bought books (he enjoys reading what are called “chapter books”) and a few other smaller things to make his Christmas bright, including some Snickers candy bars, his favorite treat.

We did all of this for less than two tanks of gas; certainly something we could afford without financial pain or sacrifice.

In this great country, filled with giving people, there are many still in need. I encourage you to reach out to those who would like to hear from you and to those need clothing or food. Please offer help and give assistance to those who can use it at this most special time of year. May God Bless You.

Ken Keller is an executive coach who works with small and midsize B2B company owners, CEOs and entrepreneurs. He facilitates formal top executive peer groups for business expansion, including revenue growth, improved internal efficiencies, and greater profitability. Please contact him at [email protected]. Keller’s column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.

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