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June 8, 2015


Brown Bags and White Boards

Jim Fiore, the former Athletic Director at Stony Brook University knows that leadership is not just about what you do but what you can inspire and empower others to do. He built Stony Brook University athletics into a national powerhouse with relentless belief and optimism. Now he shares positive messages with his son by writing a quote each day on the brown lunch bag his son brings to school.

When Jim recently Tweeted a picture of a quote on his son's brown bag I knew I had to share the idea with others.

You see, I’ve been doing something similar for a few years by writing positive messages on white boards in my children's rooms. In fact some of my best Tweets are Tweets that started out as a white board message to my kids. Here's a recent message:

Jon ImageWhen I first started doing this I wasn't sure if they were even reading them. Like most teenagers, they don't always want to hear Dad's advice, regardless of what I do for a living. They'll often say, "I know Dad. I know," which really means please stop talking. : ) But I knew I was on to something when my daughter asked me if I was going to write another message before traveling to a speaking engagement. Four years later I'm still writing on white boards and finding creative ways to communicate positive messages to my children.

For good or for bad we are all sharing and reinforcing beliefs and messages that become part of how our children think and what they believe. Each day we are giving them the curse of pessimism, cynicism, and negativity or the gift of encouragement, optimism, and belief. The words we share and the mindset they develop create the pathway to their future accomplishments, victories and triumphs.

The same goes for the people we lead and work with. I'm convinced that one of the greatest gifts we can give our team/organization is the power of belief. When your team knows you believe in them and they believe, together you can accomplish amazing things.

It's important that we find creative ways to share positive messages with our employees, colleagues, students, or teams. You may not write on a white board or brown bag but you can choose a creative way to share a positive message that makes a difference.

Give it a try and I'd love to hear about what you do!

How do you share positive messages? Post on my Facebook page, Instagram or Tweet an image to @jongordon11.


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