I especially loved the fact that Mary Beth’s older sisters were beautiful, popular and cool. I was none of the above and hoped that by association, some of their polish would rub off on me. It didn’t.
When Mary Beth told me we were going to listen to the Beatles that afternoon, in my goofy perception of the world, I thought, “Why would we want to listen to bugs?” And then I got it. Paul, John, George and Ringo were all the rage and every parent’s worst nightmare. I became really clear about who the Beatles were and sat like millions of others watching them debut on Ed Sullivan.
So, when I attended the Power & Communication Contractors Association last week, I was excited to be able to hear and meet Ken Mansfield, the U.S. Manager of the Beatles. But let me back up a little bit first.
Tommy Muse, CEO and president of Silvey Enterprises, graciously invited me to present at the convention. As president, Tommy helped plan the program and I’m grateful included me in the line-up. When I received the program brochure I was intimidated when I realized that former Attorney General John Ashcroft would open the conference. He intrigued the audience with his message – especially about 911. As the “chief” of law enforcement and crime prevention, Ashcroft met with President Bush the afternoon of the tragedy. Ashcroft said that the first words out of President Bush’s mouth were, “Do not let this happen again.” The president was very clear about his message and expectations. Ashcroft continued his presentation challenging the audience to be clear about who they were and the quality of service they provided.
On Sunday morning, the group did something that has become rare at state and national conferences. They held a prayer breakfast – a 40 plus year tradition of PCCA. I was impressed with the early morning turnout, but even more so with the spiritual focus of the men and women of the power communication profession. I discovered that although the group includes representatives from worldwide companies, the majority of the group is comprised of family owned or profit sharing business leaders. Children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews of members made the event feel more like a family reunion than an association meeting.
So it was no surprise that Logan and Tyler Muse (the teenage grandsons of Tommy and Brenda Muse) read the scriptures. There were several older members in attendance who told me they had the same kind of responsible honor as teens, but were returning as CEOs and presidents. It was evident that family matters in this association.
And then came Ken Mansfield, the Beatles manager who had an extremely successful and opulent career in the music industry. He was so very clear that losing that luxurious lifestyle he created was crucial to his finding his true calling — serving God and humanity.
Later in the week I had the privilege of speaking to a group of case managers in Texas. If you have ever been in the hospital or have a loved one with an ongoing illness, you know the importance of this group. Case managers are the point guard for securing the most appropriate health care services for patients. They are the center of the hub for physicians, insurance companies, families, long-term care facilities, and most of all, patient. They are emotionally invested in the well-being of their patients and help clarify treatment and care options for patients. I especially tip my hat to people of this profession who held my hand during the long-term illnesses of both my parents.
This morning, I checked my bags at the Southwest terminal and as I often do, I took a photograph of my luggage. The sky cap asked why I was taking the photo and I said, “Well, it helps if my luggage gets lost.” Without hesitation, he stated, “We don’t do that. We don’t even use those words at Southwest. ” WOW! Talk about clarity!
So you may be asking, “What’s the point” or “So what?” The message for me was loud and clear and offered up many times during the last week. Whether you are providing means of communication to the world, options to patients, or tagging luggage, the most important thing we can be is clear about who we are, what we do and where we are going.
And if think listening to Bow Wow is about listening to dogs barking, you might better check with a teenager.
Duncan, a Carroll County resident and an author, writes a weekly column for the Times-Georgian.