Just since my last article was released in Be Well Buzz, this was a conversation with a teenager during my volunteer work…

With tears of frustration he said, “I am tired of people preaching to me about how I should live.  Show me how to live by your actions and your attitudes. Show me real love, show me integrity. I am a reflection of you. You’re my role model.”

Many of today’s young people believe they have no reason to work hard at school–“For what?” the young man inquired. His family is in disarray and he sees no values lived and no love displayed and, therefore, is disillusioned with life. So, as he says, “I live on the edge–pushing the boundaries to get my dad’s attention.”

All of us, parents, teachers, ministers of religion, sports stars, motion picture producers, advertising gurus, TV personalities and actors, rock stars, politicians from all parties, business leaders and all so-called leaders in our community, relatives and neighbours, exactly what are we presenting to the next generation? What values are we modelling? What values do we present to them that they could pursue to find happiness and success and lifelong relationships? What would inspire them to walk behind you in the mine field?

As I have mentioned in previous articles, from now on, how about less talk and more walk? Beginning as of now, when we talk to others, let’s stop trying to impress others by talking about our accomplishments and all we ‘know.’ Let our integrity and actions and ‘what would love do?’ do the speaking. Ask more questions of the people around us so we can understand them and communicate more deeply and authentically.

In business, we all would do well to live by the creed that “repeat business and profitability are directly related to relationships based on trust.” To quote Steven Covery, “We aren’t trying to ‘get’ people. We never close a sale. We must begin a long-term relationship where both parties win.”

Successful relationships always have mutual trust as their foundation. Trust is something that must be earned. It is consistently being who we say we are when we think no one is looking. Break that trust and you break the relationship. Sabotage trust by a double lifestyle and it’s almost impossible to put it together again. I heard a young lady say after her partner had an affair, “I never can trust him again.” To create a bond and a long-term relationship it must be grounded in and operating on the same non-situational honesty. It takes two or more people for trust to be present and it doesn’t matter what the common denominator is-–husband and wife, executives, employee and boss, parent and child, siblings or friends.

A foundational need for all of us is to feel valued, appreciated and respected. When people feel valued they answer questions with reciprocated respect, honesty and cooperation. To be respected, be respectable, to be loved, be loving, to be trusted, be trustworthy. If your desire is a lifelong relationship, listen, really deeply listen without judgement to the needs of the other person’s heart. Listen without the intent of changing that person but rather, to understand that person.

In today’s era if your goal is to be an outstanding leader, instead of “What can you do for me?” we need to embrace the new stewardship role of “What can I do for you?” Good will and trust will be earned by helping your loved ones, neighbours, work associates and customers to win much more than trying to accumulate money and power, status and prestige. There is an old saying: “Give, and it shall be given unto you, pressed down, shaken together until it overflows.” Now that is really successful living!

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