I had the good fortune of attending the Big East Basketball Tournament in New York City last week. It is an exciting event, featuring some intense basketball games played in Madison Square Garden, one of the world’s most famous arenas. When I got to my seats, I found out I was sitting two rows behind two legends in college basketball history. One was Denny Crum, who coached the University of Louisville for 30 years. He won two national championships and was named to the basketball Hall of Fame in 1994. The other was Darrell Griffith, a Louisville All-American on one of Crum’s national championship teams and the college basketball player of the year in 1980. Griffith left Louisville as their all-time leading scorer and had his jersey retired before embarking on a successful professional career in the NBA.
So, I’m sure you are thinking, “Wow, you must have had great seats.” But that’s the surprising thing; I didn’t. My seats were behind a basket and about 40 rows back. They weren’t bad seats, but they weren’t great either. And they certainly were not seats where you would expect to see the two biggest names in Louisville basketball history. Crum and Griffith seemed like real class acts. They enjoyed the games and never seemed bothered when fans asked for a picture or stopped to shake their hands. They never showed any sign of being disgruntled about their seats. But I was. I was shocked that Louisville did not take better care of two individuals who mean so much to their history.
It got me thinking about the organizations we lead. Do we take time to stay in touch with those who came before us? Do we appreciate the ones who laid the foundation for our successes? When we have a chance to show respect and appreciation for the legends of our organizations, do we do so?
Take some time this week to think about the history of your organization. Reach out to someone who worked for your organization in the past and tell them how much you appreciate all they did to lay a foundation for success. Call someone who mentored you and tell them thank you. Sometimes we get so consumed by the tasks of today, that we forget about yesterday and the path that got us to where we are. Pause a moment this week and show respect to the past, and in particular, to the ones who came before you in your organization.
Thanks for reading,