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Communication

The man who got me into franchising in 1980 died of pancreatic cancer four years ago. I wrote about Jerry shortly after his death and chronicled many of the lessons I learned from him. He was the best I had ever seen at building a team.

Since his passing, a golf tournament fundraiser is held in his honor for the scholarship program at Rockford (IL) Lutheran High School. His son, who is my kid’s age, is the head basketball coach at Lutheran.  All three of Jerry’s children work at the water treatment company that he started in 1980, and I worked at for more than seven years.

My son Andy, now 40, drives to Rockford from his home in Cleveland, Ohio, to pick me up in Chicago on the way to the yearly event. We both leave the house before 4:30 a.m.—he drives the six hours to Chicago, and I head to the Southwest terminal in Dallas. We look forward to it each year!

The event is a great way to help raise money for a worthy cause and spend time golfing with my son and some very good friends I’ve known for decades. This year, more than 60 participated in the fundraiser.

As I landed at Chicago Midway, I texted Andy to find out how close he was to the airport. He let me know that he was already there, waiting in the cell phone lot. GREAT! We’d get to Rockford by noon and play some golf on Saturday, too. I told him that I’d let him know when my bags arrived.

Not long after, the clubs and suitcase arrived, and I called Andy and told him I was outside and ready to be picked up. He asked what terminal I was in—if you’ve flown to Midway, you know there is only one terminal.  He then asked me if I was in vestibule one. I told him that I didn’t see any vestibule signs, only to find out from him that he saw them every 30 feet or so. He explained that he was parked behind the Enterprise rent-a-car van—I didn’t see one.

It was then, and only then, that we realized he was at O’Hare, and I was at Midway—30 miles and 45 minutes apart. To make matters worse, he passed Midway over an hour ago! Andy told me that his wife asked him what airport I was flying into. He thought I flew into O’Hare last year . . . while I was sure I flew into Midway. Unfortunately, we didn’t call each other to find out.

A month ago, my oldest grandsons, 17 and 14, flew into Dallas for a four-day weekend with me and Mary Kay. We told them we would meet them at A-29. The luggage area for their flight from Cleveland came in at A-29.  After waiting 45 minutes, they found us and said they walked by A-29 several times, not realizing that they had to go THROUGH the door to the luggage area.

Communication: Do you ever have an issue with it?

Walter Bond, one of my favorite speakers, says that we have to quit communicating and start connecting.  He is 100-percent correct. Andy and I would have connected had we talked the night before, or even as we were both driving at 5 a.m., about which airport I was landing. If I would have told the grandsons that the luggage area is at A-29, and that we would wait by the luggage area THROUGH THE DOORS at A-29, they would have known where to go.

Connecting—not communicating.

Have you had situations like this in the past week? (I hope it just isn’t me!) Look at the various areas of your life: home, business, parenting, socializing. Being able to connect is so important. As you can imagine, I have the same issues with Mary Kay. Seems that she just can’t read my mind, and that I actually have to CONNECT with her verbally about what is happening. (Shocking.)

Work on your CONNECTIONS this week. You’ll be amazed at how it simplifies your life.

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