Leadership Lessons from Who?
Jon Bon Jovi, Desi Arnaz, Mikahil Gorbachev & Karen Carpenter... what do they all have in common? They share a birthday with Dr. Seuss! March 2nd, 1904 Theodor Seuss Geisel was born. He published 46 children's books, and I daresay that most of you have read or had one or more of them read to you in your lifetime. So here is my ode to the good doctor on his day!
Today is day of fun stories & rhyme, For dear Dr. Seuss it's birthday time!
He's thrilled us with stories of "Fox In Socks", "Oh The Places You'll Go", and "Hop on Pop".
He showed us new creatures like the Lorax & Sneetch, And grew the heart of Christmas in the evil old Grinch.
"One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish", And "Green Eggs & Hams" was our favorite dish!
When did we grow up and lose the wonder and imagination of a child? It seems from reading Dr. Seuss that he never did! His stories to took us to places of wonder and amazement. He introduced us to creatures we never knew, and to a few we thought we knew but were amazed at what they could do! (Did Horton really hear that Who? I don't know, do you?)
But woven into those wonderful children's stories are amazing leadership truths that this pioneer in early childhood education hoped would stay with kids forever... let's look at a few, and what they have to say to us today!
? "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind." In a world that tries to shape us all into a compartment, cubbyhole or meet a list of its expectations, the good doctor reminds us that it's best to just be who we are. We will always have critics, and we'll always have fans. Judy Garland said, "Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else."
? "Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened." Yes, even the cruddy stuff. The good, the bad & the really, really ugly all have a way of weaving together and shaping us into who we are today. For better or for worse, as Dr. Seuss would say, "Today you are YOU, that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is Youer than YOU." So enjoy and accept the YOU that YOU are today!
? "So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads." What great advice for those who would lead! Say what you need to say, and make sure what you need to say needs to be said! The only thing worse than listening to a speaker who loves the sound of his own voice is to have to muddle through mountains of words to find that nugget of truth, when mounds of words would have been enough.
? "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go." Never stop learning. Read books, blogs, tweets even bumper stickers. But always be reading and expanding your knowledge. More than that, expand your heart and mind to accept what knowledge comes your way.
? "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not." This world is a rough place. People need us. We need people. So here's my advice to echo that of Dr. Seuss. Go give a rip. Make one difference in one life today. Lather. Rinse. Repeat every day.
? "You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams." Not everyone gets to experience this kind of love, but everyone gets to BELIEVE in this kind of love. If you're married to your soul mate, let them know what they mean to you. If you're struggling in your relationship, then work on it. It's cool to wake up from a dream, and it's the same person you were looking at just a few seconds before.
? "Today is gone. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one." My dad passed away about two years ago. My mom followed him to heaven 2 months ago. I'd give anything for one more conversation, one more hug, one more "I love you." I can't, nor can you, undo wasted moments. But more counsel for Dr. Seuss reminds us that "Only you can control your future." He adds one last piece of advice for us to consider... "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose." So go choose something amazing today!
We laughed at the Flummox & Foo-Foo the Snoo, And we sang round the Christmas Tree with Cindy Lou Who!
So spend some time with Yertle Turtle today, Or the Grickily Gractus, as they grackle away!
But look for the lessons, and listen close too, And like Horton you may just hear something new!