The Last Words of George H. W. Bush
Former President George H. W. Bush passed away Friday, November 30, 2018 at age 94. It’s reported that his last conversation was with his son, former President George W. Bush.
The New Your Times reports that the younger Bush told his father that he had been a “wonderful dad” and that he loved him.
The elder Bush said, “I love you, too.” Those were his last words.
I notice that the younger Bush didn’t say, “You were a wonderful President.”
When life nears its end, you get clear about what matters.
I remember listening to recorded phone calls from people who died during 9/11. No one said, “And don’t forget to take out the trash.” They often said, “I love you.”
“Jules, this is Brian. Listen, I’m on an airplane that’s been hijacked. If things don’t go well, and it’s not looking good, I just want you to know that I absolutely love you.” (news)
The language of love feels awkward in business settings. Maybe it’s awkward because the same word refers to how you feel about apple pie and your spouse.
Try using the words, “best interest,” when referring to colleagues, bosses, and direct reports. Seek the best interest of those you serve. It’s the practical expression of love that doesn’t need romantic feelings.
Show up today seeking the best interest of others.
Don’t wait to show love. You regret the things you don’t do more than the things you do. For example…
Consider a conversation an exploration. The danger of a quick mind is it makes you seem disinterested in people. Try asking a few questions. Some of my favorites include:
- What have you tried?
- If this works, what will be different?
- What’s important to you about that?
- What are some options?
- What do you think we should do?
How might leaders show up seeking the best interest of others?
“The connection of family”, the closing couldn’t be much nicer! At the moment its the heartfelt feelings between a “father and son”! Can we really do anymore then to say we love one another and see you at our final resting place! Rest in Peace “George H.W. Bush! You made a difference for a better world.
Thanks Tim. Well said.
Mr. Bush’s death really saddened me. I wasn’t old enough to vote for Reagan, my favorite president, but I did vote for Mr. Bush in 1988 (via mail ballot while I was an exchange student living in Japan). Watching the coverage of his remembrance yesterday, it struck me that he was a great servant leader- a concept that I didn’t learn until a few years ago. It is my hope that he will be an inspiration for current and future leaders in our government.
How do we as leaders show our people we care? Caring messages can sometimes get misunderstood as manipulation, insincere, or even amorous feelings. How do we as leaders tell others you are valued, what you do makes a difference, you have had a positive influence in my life?
Thanks Duane. “Valued” is a great word.
You made me think: you can’t fake caring for very long. If you don’t care find something to do where you can.
I may be oversimplifying this, but just tell them that they make a difference and that you are grateful that they are there.
Simple is good. Thanks Wayne.
And do that, whenever possible, in a hand-written note. Then, they know beyond a doubt that you must care because you took the time to write it.
I don’t know about you but, when someone at work tells me they appreciate me (and my work!), that goes a long way!
Compare with King George V: “Bugger Bognor!”
Thanks Mitch. Always a pleasure to read your comments whether short or long.
Absolutely perfect. Exactly what I needed to read at this time. Thank you so much.
Thanks alorch. It’s always a pleasure to be useful.
It’s easy to share warm feelings with your staff if you’ve established that rapport. If you haven’t, and you feel a sincere sentiment may be misconstrued — break the ice now so being your authentic self (kind and appreciative hopefully 🙂 — will not be mistaken. You’ll be happier and they will be too.
Thank Mary Ellen. You made me think about consistency when it comes to caring for people. Be regular and consistent.
Expressing love and the gratitude is a natural phenomena! It usually comes for a person who has demonstrated the high level of affection & care with his/her good deeds. We need to tell this as and when you find an opportunity to appreciate. it’s an honour for the recipient and a matter of pride for the person acknowledging the same.
Thanks Dr. Asher. Yes, keep your eye peeled for someone doing good deeds and then let them know that you notice.
Noticing is an expression of caring because it lets people know they matter.
Timely post for me. Thank-you for the questions at the end – this gives us a good and practical jumping off point to show our best interest in those around us.
The building of relationships and rapport begins with the words we speak and the manner in which they are spoken. There is nothing stronger than endearing words of love…and there is nothing more appreciated than words of gratitude.
Reading the above comments, it reveals that several words are revolving: caring, respect, noticing, warm, sincere, and positive. I am sure that if we were all in a room and wanted to describe what we look for in a leader, all of these words would end up on our “brainstorming” dry erase board.
People under estimate a sincere and heart felt thank you. They can be very motivating. A hand written thank you note is a nice touch as well
Key word here is “sincere” because if it is not people will see through it and it will do more damage than good.
I had an old boss that never got this concept. I had another boss that thanked you for everything which got annoying.
Be specific – what do you “love” or “appreciate” about that person? Then of course be sincere. Finally, be frequent. That last one for me has been tough as it feels like overdoing it, but someone I recently managed told me it is rarely received as being too often.