Several years ago I was the recipient of a presentation from Tom Peters. At the time he was considered a corporate rock star because of his “change the world if it’s not working for you” business tactics. I loved the presentation as did many others, thousands have loved his books and still do. We sat there in the Steelcase auditorium, enamored by his perspective and rebel discourse from corporate world. I alway’s found it bizarre how Steelcase and many other Fortune 500 management teams would hire him to come in and present when he would often challenge the very things that same management team was doing?
The presentation started as many do, introductions, thanks and acknowledgements and humor…with Tom, humor was veneered into any discussion which is what makes the guy so likeable. Not long into the dialogue he began challenging the norms of the then corporate world. Stating that he had just come down from the top floor (at the time Steelcase CHQ had its management team at the “top”). On his way down in the elevator he discovered that one of the other occupants in the lift had on the “funniest shoes…not only were they wing-tips, and not only were they loafers with tassels, they were both…wing-tips with tassels!” And proceeded to laugh contiguously and soon the whole place was laughing at truly how silly this concept was. He claimed he offered to buy them from the guy but could not arrange a deal.
In my career I have seen so many of these idols come and go…for us it was Steven Covey, Tom Peters, Zig Ziglar, Franklin Planner (before it was Covey)…they all have great insights and revitalize a corporation but the moment never stays…aside from some memorable quotes that obviously inspire us to some extent to this day. They are all great people and for the most part still inspiring thousands with their visions and opinions.
This morning as I put on these shoes a I remembered the speeches, the lectures, the books, the meetings, the coffee’s with these people I have had over the decades…David Kelly, Phillipe Stark, Max Depree. I have been very fortunate to have met these people. I wear these shoes twice a year…at Christmas and Easter. When I wear them I try to walk like my dad.
But today as I put them on I remembered Peters opinion of them, how “idols” come and go and that on this day over 2,000 years ago Jesus rose from the dead, which for our family is cause for celebration…the reason I am putting these things on.
Becasue all these thoughts and memories were suddenly colliding in my mind, I had a flashing thought about a person who was not a flash in the pan. What was Jesus in those days?… Why had his popularity changed so drastically in his last few weeks?… Was he a Peters, a Jobs, a Branson? a Trump?… of course not, he was and is so much more. The scholars could probably tell me more but the best way for me to study this in-depth would be to walk in his shoes…or more approporatly, sandals and probably not with wing-tips or tasles.
Godspeed and may your Easter find you reflective and surrounded by family.