Precious Gift

We build leaders and transform organizations!

Precious Gift


A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains

found a precious stone in a stream.

The next day she met another traveler who was hungry,
and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food.

The hungry traveler saw the precious stone

and asked the woman to give it to him.

She did so without hesitation.

The traveler left rejoicing in his good fortune.
He knew the stone was worth enough to give him
security for a lifetime.

But, a few days later,
he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.

“I’ve been thinking,” he said. “I know how valuable this stone is,
but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something
even more precious.

Give me what you have within you that
enabled you to give me this stone.”

Sometimes it’s not the wealth you have
but what’s inside you that others need

Restoring Trust

You’ve heard this truth:  It takes a lot to earn trust,
but little to lose it.

Any misstep – a breach of confidence, not showing up, a so-called joke – can turn a trusting relationship into one of uncertainty and skepticism.  Unaddressed, that bond breaks and mistrust redirects the relationship.

So here’s the big – though, perhaps, unpopular – question:

Who is the person in your life – at work, at home or otherwise –
who trusts you less than they used to because of something you’ve done?

Just in case your mind named a person and quickly jumped to the story behind the scenes – why it happened, who was involved, all of that mental chatter – let it go.  Your intent isn’t at issue here.  Your impact is.  You’ve lost some of his or her trust.

Do you want to restore it?  Would a return to trust benefit either or both of you?  Let’s say your answer to both questions is Yes. There are some key things you have to do:

  • Acknowledge the breach and do it soon.
    Don’t cringe. You may have to muster some courage and endure feeling a bit exposed, but that’s better than having your weakness for addressing the issue be perceived as wickedness.
  • Apologize.
    Be sincere, straightforward about what happened, and ask for forgiveness.  Describe the unwanted effect of your behavior.  While you’re admitting your mistake, though, don’t load the description with excuses.  Frankly, you’re likely the only one who cares about your reasons.  Your colleague or family member simply wants to know what you’re going to do to rectify the situation.
  • Identify the behavior changes you will make and implement them.
    Actions speak so much louder than words.  You have to follow through.

Now.  Let’s walk through the situation you want to repair:

Whose trust did you break?


What did you do?


Why do you want to restore this trust?


What words are important in your apology?


What three behavior changes will you make in order to restore the relationship?

How will you establish accountability for following through with these efforts?


By what date will you approach the person whose trust you affected?


Good for you for figuring this out. Now, you certainly know the next step:  Go take care of it.

Best wishes!

May you continue to have Bright Ideas!

Trust: An Assessment

It’s that gut feeling;
that instinct that makes you squint your eyes ever so slightly and stare,
leaning your head faintly to the right.

You’re not so sure about that person, are you?
You’re not certain he’s telling you the truth.
There’s something more that she’s not saying.

You watch him.  You notice whether he looks away when he’s making a point,
or whether she holds her chin because she’s uncomfortable with her words.

They want your buy-in.  Your decision?  You’ll wait and see.

Trust is a powerful emotion.

Think about how well you trust the people who surround you most:
your co-workers, your boss, your partner, your family.

Are they clear about what’s right and what’s wrong and take the high road
or are they comfortable with deceit, no matter how small?

Do they take responsibility for their decisions and actions,
or do they deflect and point fingers at others?

Do they act as though they care?
For whom?  Others or themselves?

Can you count on them – and do you?
Would you be willing to take a big risk with them as your back-up?

Trust determines how much you’ll invest, doesn’t it?
It governs whether you’ll embrace them or hold them off;
whether you’ll be transparent or keep your secrets;
whether you’re even willing to show them what you have to offer.

It’s sobering to think about.
Giving them your trust is not to be taken lightly.
It’s a very big deal.

Now.  Ponder this:
You co-workers, your boss, your partner and your family
are also reading this message now and thinking about you.

How will you rate?  Have you earned their trust?

Is there something you can do today to increase it?

The upcoming Bright Ideas will offer some tips.

My “Promise”

Take five minutes.  You’re entitled to a break.  Find a quiet place to sit, think and write.  Shut the door, escape the noises, close the blinds, if you must.  No interruptions allowed.  Quiet.  Five minutes.

One of the reasons you walk this planet is to fulfill your promise.  That’s the action that you and only you can do because it’s done in your individual way.  Answer the following questions. You’ll get closer to defining or confirming your very special promise.

  • If I did this one thing, I would feel that I really, really, (really) mattered . . . .

(Think beyond the experiences of being an outstanding parent,
partner, child or employee. Focus more singly on your interests.)

  • Wouldn’t it be great if I could . . . ?

(This describes something that frequently and spontaneously
enters your mind or is a new and compelling interest.)

  • I would love to do something that has this result or impact . . . .
  • Based on what I’ve said so far, here, my “promise” might be connected to . . . .
  • Here’s one thing I can do to test that idea . . . .

Your timing for fulfilling your promise is clearly up to you.  But wouldn’t it be ideal to start now?

May you continue to have Bright Ideas!


Look at your thumb,

the soft, fleshy part.

Notice the swirl of ridges.

If you run a fingernail down them,

You can feel how distinct they are.

Your thumbprint.

There is no one else . . .

never in the past, not in the present, nor ever in the future

. . . with your unmistakable thumbprint.

No one else can leave your mark.

There’s something that you are yet to do in your life that can only be done by you, only in your way.  It’s your promise. You’ve probably sensed it:  an idea that’s hovering, a desire that’s pushing, a voice that’s nagging.  Sometimes your promise screams to be freed and, other times, it cowers, afraid.  Sound familiar?

I’m not able to pull it off, you say.  I don’t have the skills, the position, the money, the confidence, the youth, the maturity, the track record, the support, the stamina, the vision, the…well, the list is long.  But guess what?  None of that is true.  You have all of what you need to complete your promise.  Every last bit of it.  Right now, you have the means to figure out each detail, the capacity to obtain every resource, and the personal magic to make it real.  Don’t look for someone else to do what’s yours to do. Your promise won’t – can’t – come through your child, your neighbor, your boss, or your friend.  If you don’t do it, quite simply, it will never be done.  So what if you have to stretch yourself, or leap beyond comfort, or abandon negative self-talk, or find your courage.  It still must be done!  Remember, this is your promise; your mark is at stake!

Have the audacity to actually believe in your greatness. Ignite your spirit and put it to work.  Require yourself to find the best path, give your top effort, and power through to the finish.  As for your inevitable excuses?  Recognize them for what they are, decipher how you’re using them to benefit you, resolve that you no longer want them, and give them the boot.  Your promise is far too important to be quashed.  It’s something that can change everything because it’s never been done and can never be replicated.  Isn’t that incredible?

Now, the task is yours.   It’s your thumbprint.  Where will you leave it?

Wishing you Bright Moments!