I was at a conference recently and heard Pasquale “Pat” Croce, the former president and CEO of the Philadelphia 76ers basketball club, speak. His incredible personal journey is an inspiring story in its own right and I encourage you to learn more.
Pat jumped on the conference stage and exploded with energy, exhorting an enthralled audience of 1,600 business execs to live with more purpose and passion. “SPEND IT” was the first challenge from Croce. And he went on from there, “What are you waiting for?”
Pat told one story that really had an impact with me. He tells of a time during his role running the team when he was, of course, extremely busy. However Pat still read all his emails and paused on one from a 10 year old boy. The email read this way (paraphrasing) “…Hi Pat, when you’re not too busy could you call my friend Bobby who is in the hospital and not feeling well.”
According to Croce, mostly because he wanted it off his to do list, he asked his assistant to email the boy back to get a phone number. Pat then goes on to call the hospitalized boy who was recovering from brain surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. The sick child’s mother answered the call and after some disbelief that it was Croce (who was literally a house hold name in Philadelphia) handed the phone over to her bed ridden 10 year old son. Pat and the boy immediately engaged in a comfortable conversation, as if they had known each other for years. After about 5 minutes of chatting, the phone is handed over to the mother, whom to Croce’s discomfort, was sobbing. Pat asked her what was wrong and through her tears, she went on to explain that words spoken by the boy were his first since the operation a few weeks before. While his speech was expected to return post op, until the conversation with Pat, there was no evidence it would.
Croce’s point – it is never ever too soon to act with kindness. Do it now.
Character Move: Spend it now! Act with kindness right after you read this. It is never too soon.
With Kindness in the Triangle,