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Brick Wall Leadership
So I want you to meet my new best friend, Randy, who I just met yesterday – in a YouTube video. You can’t really meet him, because he’s impossible to meet, but he knows a lot about brick walls. Visit YouTube, or just Google and search for Randy Pausch, “The Last Lecture.” And then, brace yourself!
Randy knows about brick walls, but not because he was a mason contractor going through some tough times. As a man in his mid-40s with three young children, a wonderful wife and a great job, he found out that he had cancer – pancreatic cancer – the type almost never survived.
Randy, a professor at Carnegie-Mellon University, had figured some great ways to teach students difficult subjects, but with little “book learning.” His teachings were almost all project based. He figured he owed a debt to his students and his university, so he agreed to teach what was to be called “The Last Lecture.” In effect, it was his last lecture.
You see, Randy Pausch was not just trying to figure out how to win his next bid and pay the light bill, but how to leave a legacy for his kids.
I may be wrong, but I think that he’d have enjoyed these last couple of years’ worth of Masonry issues. And, I think that he would have liked Full Contact Project Management and been a huge fan of the MCAA. How do I know? Because he was always a believer in and supporter of the schools where he worked, and what they taught.
“Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won’t make us happier.”
Randy Pausch, “The Last Lecture”
Randy loved to teach by putting small teams of people together and having them build projects. Is that the essence of our industry and MCAA, or what? He strove for excellence, both in the teaching of skills and in the execution of the students’ projects.
I certainly didn’t have a clue as to what was coming back then. Life was still pretty good for me. It was different for Randy. He knew what was coming and what his family faced. But there was little complaining. By comparison, I confess to much more complaining through much less drastic circumstances.
But for me, and for all of us, it is not too late. Coming up on the mid-point of the year, I believe it’s time to make my first New Year’s resolution. That is to be grateful for what I have been given, which is way more than I’m due, and promise to make better use of it.
May is the month of Memorial Day, honoring sacrifices by patriots, past and future, and showing appreciation for jobs well done and for exemplary leadership. One of the ways I’ll be doing that is by remembering Randy, and by appreciating brick walls.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 May 2013 16:28|