His ball was moving right and settled in the grass about ten feet away. As the leader of the senior tournament approached, I moved close to watch an amazingly small, relatively elderly, scrawny yet pot bellied gentleman size up his next shot, consult with his caddie and select his club. He briefly simulated his desired swing, appraised the challenge and nodded to his caddie to confirm their planned ball flight over a distant tree. Without apparent concern he addressed the ball, confidently drew back his five iron in a long, fluid swing and effortlessly launched the ball in an amazing high, left to right trajectory towards the green. “Oh my Lord, can you believe how he compresses that ball to a fade? The acceleration of that ball off of his club took my breath away. And the ball cleared the tree and landed on the green like a butterfly. I’m twenty years younger, outweigh him 75 pounds and there is no way I could ever pull of that shot!”
“Knowing your game, I would agree. But, he’s a pro. Don’t let that pot belly fool you. He just did what he has trained himself to do. And he’s still doing it because he loves it.”
The visual blinding background array of strobe lights, rotating spot lights and rotating, richly colored kaleidoscope was captivating. The lights exploded to the stage and multi platinum band rolled into a mega hit to the deafening applause of the SRO, baby boomer, audience. From the second deck of the coliseum the excitement of this unique event was exhilarating, as the music brought back fond memories. At the appropriate time during this famous tune, the gray pony tailed base player ignited woofers to press my shirt against my body. Then the infamous lead vocalist stepped forward and began to work his guitar. “Can you believe that this 70 year old infamous druggy has the drive, focus and dexterity to seize that stage and create that sound! I thought his brain would be in a jar in some lab! Where does he get the energy to do this twice a week?”
“Knowing how soft you are at 68 and how you complain about your aches and pains, there is no way you could do that. However, regardless of his age and in contradiction to his stoner reputation and he is a pro. Regardless of the scuttlebutt you hear, this is a professional musician keeps himself in extraordinary physical condition and has a passion for his art form. No way you could play a guitar like that if he was not dialed in as both an athlete and artist!”
The room was silent with stress. The weight of the discussion had been so high that the sibling G4 business partners were showing emotional fatigue: one brother leaning back gazing at the ceiling; another having spun his chair and leaning over with his face in his hands and their sister fidgeting with her notes to avoid eye contact. The brother to my right stands and generally broadcasts that he’d had all his nerves could handle. The brother across the table stood, turned around, proclaimed that his face hurt and agreed with his older brother that it was time to call it quits for the day. After they departed their sister sitting next to me turns to me shaking her head in wonderment. “Loyd, how can you do this! After discussing three exciting but admittedly very complex methods for us to buy the business from our mother, you just proceed into issues that we have never been able to talk about: me protecting my son’s job; my brother’s wife being a family terrorist; and my other brother’s lack of drive and drug use! We have only been meeting for two hours but I am totally exhausted! How do you do this?”
“Two hours? Felt like half an hour to me. I can do this because this is me. I am not your attorney, your accountant or your family therapist but I am a professional who understands the basic fundamentals of all these professions and how they interdependently impact the continuation of success. I could not run your business, I stink at golf and I cannot carry a tune in a bucket but I live to help you address those issues that that tie your stomach in a knot and stand as obstacles to your Succession Success . I passionately believe the succession of your business is worth the price you just paid in this meeting and as a succession planning professional I am prepared to help you address what you as a layman may think is impossible.”
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