Happy Holidays

Randy Gaddo, one of my colleagues at Northstar Publications, writes a monthly article called “LBWA,” which stands for “Leadership By Wandering Around.” Back when Randy and I were young upstarts, this theory was considered cutting edge, and employed the notion of getting out of your chair or leadership desk and visiting the field or the production floor at the plant.

It meant getting your hands dirty so that you could experience the things that were happening and learn more than just what you “heard.” When managers see and feel and are confronted with problems, they take a more active part in resolving them.

I hope you kids have come to see that this very theory is where we get our strength as a family.

When we have our weekly Sunday dinners, inevitably one of you has something going on in his or her life that needs to be resolved. By meeting with your family every week and coming forward with your problems, you get to hear some alternative opinions.

But even more than that, you get to hear that your brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, parents and grandparents all have had to deal with similar problems over the years and have found their way out of rising waters to higher ground.

You suddenly feel not so alone, and talking things out and getting it out on the table helps you reveal that maybe this isn’t all that bad. Be it quarreling couples, troublesome kids, missed payments, loss of spirit, loss of direction; guys, we have all been there at one time or another.

By shouldering the troubled times together, I think it takes the sting and loneliness out of working out the shark-infested waters of life.

You can’t imagine the thrill I get when one has a problem and the other has the solution. Like someone’s car broke down, but someone else at the table will be on vacation all week and doesn’t need his car so the other can use it until their car is fixed. Instantly solved problems with family-strength solutions; what could be better?

So as we press ahead to 2012, keep hold of that principle. We are better together; stronger, more capable, more resilient, more likely to succeed. If I leave a legacy at all in this life, make sure this example stays in place.

As I turn to my family of readership, I advise much the same. Be there for each other. Find patterns and methods and ways in 2012 that reinforce that kind of working interdependence. It will ensure that every holiday to come is a happy one.

Wishing all of you the best this season, from my family to yours!

Ron Ciancutti is the Purchasing Manager for Cleveland Metroparks. He is not on Facebook, but he can be reached at rdc@clevelandmetroparks.com.

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