I will never forget the look on my kids’ faces the first time they were served a summons to appear in court. They were about 9 and 10 years old. The letters addressed to them arrived in the mail. Somewhat excited and surprised that they had received official looking correspondence in the mail, they opened them and started reading: “You are hereby summoned to appear in…” That’s when they started to get a bit concerned. Bewildered by the idea that they would need to go to court, they handed me the letters, hoping that I could explain what was going on and whether there had been some sort of mistake. As it turned out, there hadn’t been any mistake at all.
When I was a kid growing up in Iran, I remember that we only had a handful of channels on TV and after a certain hour, they all displayed that dreadful TV test card and played a high-pitched sound as if to say, “Why are you still awake watching this boring display of talking heads?” There was no Internet or other form of digital entertainment, of course, so those few hours of TV were cherished and celebrated simply because they were the cutting edge of entertainment at the time; it didn’t matter what was on TV, all that mattered was that the TV was on, as boring as it might be by today’s standards.
A little over a month ago, I renewed my commitment to my health and wellness and decided to not let good be the enemy of great, as Jim Collins puts in in his book, Good to Great! I set some goals in terms of my exercise program and the tweaks I needed to make in my diet and I set out to make it happen. I am happy to report that I have been consistently following my program and I feel great about resisting the temptation to go back to my old ways—as I have done many times in the past—but that doesn’t mean I haven’t had my share of challenges! One such challenge and defining moment is what gave me the inspiration for this week’s post.
Those of you who follow my blog or other posts on social media may have heard about our upcoming workshop retreat. You may have noticed that my team and I are very excited about it whenever we bring it up. Well, this is the week it happens. In fact, on the day this post is published, we will be at Serenbe Farms with 15 leaders, from six companies across six states, who have chosen to invest a day in themselves on behalf of their organizations through their pursuit of the goal of Transformative Leadership. The trust that these participants have placed in us is humbling and my team and I have been working tirelessly to ensure an extraordinary experience for them. It is our goal that they leave the event equipped with both the mindset and the knowledge to serve and lead others more effectively than they previously thought possible, enabling them to experience the joy and fulfillment that comes from making a greater difference in their organizations and communities.
A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of fulfilling my civic duty as a potential juror. This was the fourth time I had received a summons to report for jury duty, although the first three times I was excused before I ever made it to jury selection. But not this time. This time I ended up spending two days at the courthouse and, as many of you who have been there know, it involved a lot of waiting, which gave me the chance to meet some very interesting people from all different walks of life. I had the opportunity to get in the jury box and answer questions from three sets of lawyers representing the plaintiffs and two defendants in a civil case. I also got a chance to watch 47 other potential jurors go through the same process.