Early on a chilly morning, the Saturday before Thanksgiving, I sit in our side room and am consumed by these two ideas/feelings/priorities….. being deeply humble and thankful as I start this essay. This little room was an old “side porch” that we enclosed years ago and I have found it one of my favorite spots in this wonderful old house…. a house that turns 100 in 2023! This cold morning, I can see the first rays of dawn lighting the tops of the old oak trees at the back of our yard… starting out as rays of piercing red, then mellowing into the soft yellows of a broader sunrise…. so beautiful.
Amid this beautiful dawn, I am struck by a deep sense of gratitude for my life, my marriage, my children, my broader family, my work, and the team of folks I get to work with every day. I have written it many times… “life is fragile” and I feel the truth of those words again today. We act sometimes like we are made of steel and will live forever, and we all know the folly of those thoughts. In truth, we are made of flowers and stardust, (not titanium!!) and live a life shorter than we would hope… and have a wonderful set of chances and choices to live that life now, have an impact now, and work shoulder to shoulder with other like-minded folk trying to make tomorrow just a little better than yesterday!
Earlier this week, I lead a “Zoom Call” for our Leadership Team at Bolthouse Farms, a group of 50-60 key leaders from across the company and across the country. We were reviewing our Q1 results ( not pretty!) and reinforcing the key priorities for fiscal Q2 ( the N/D/J wild ride.) As I was reviewing the numbers and reinforcing the key priorities I scanned the “zoom screen” ( which went into 3 screens) and was struck and impressed by the talented leaders that were side by side in the “zoom squares.” There was Phil and David…. Sam and Manny…. Todd and Mary…. Lott and Amy… Donny and Mike…. Gio and Adam…. (and the list goes on and on) …all “shoulder to shoulder” on my screen focused on finding ways to make this crazy business we call Bolthouse Farms a bit better tomorrow than yesterday, better in December than October, better in Q2 than Q1. It literally brought a tear to my eye seeing these bright talented leaders “in it together” and I was deeply humbled and thankful that I had the chance to lead THIS team of tremendous leaders, at THIS time in our company's history, to work on OUR challenges/opportunities TOGETHER… tears of appreciation and humility.
As you turn your thoughts toward your families and friends and the upcoming thanksgiving holiday, find your own moment of “appreciation and humility.” Regardless of the challenges facing our world, our county, our companies, and our families, we are literally lucky every day to have the chance to make it all a little bit better tomorrow…. and Thanksgiving is a good time to work on reminding ourselves of that deep truth.