Coach Nick Saban tells a story of three baby birds who fell into the ocean. The mama bird was frantic because her babies were about to drown so the daddy bird flies out and scoops the first baby bird up and sits him down on dry land and asks his son, “Now that I saved your life what are you going to do for me?” His son looks up at him and says, “Dad, when you get old I’m going to take care of you,” and with that, the dad picks up his son and drops him back into the ocean. He then scoops up the second son and brings him to dry land and asks the same question, “Now that I saved your life what are you going to do for me?” The second son says, “Dad you don’t have to worry about anything when you get old because I’m going to take care of you,” and with that the dad does the same thing he did with the first son, he drops him back into the ocean and scoops up the third son and asks the same previous question. The third son says, “Dad, I promise to do everything for my sons as you did for me.”

Your children & the people you lead– the ones who came in with bad credit and today they bought their first home; the ones who used to ride a bike or took a bus to & from work, leave today in their own vehicle; the once shy & inhibited one, who can now talk to anyone; the one who turned his life around & is married with children…those people, your people owe you nothing.

Not a damn thing…

And the best thing they can do- the only thing they should do “for you,” is to be a better parent, manager, & leader, for their kids, for their employees, for their community.

Besides what you want from them anyway? I mean when you keep throwing it up in their face when you stood in the gap, bailed them out, and turned them around…how you made sacrifices, worked two jobs, & made a way out of no way.

What really do you want from them anyway? You don’t want to thank you, you want power and the minute they resist you- the minute they push off and stand on their own by making their own mind up- the minute you feel your power slip, you try to get it back by slapping them with a reminder of all that you’ve done for them.

They don’t appreciate that, they resent it. They don’t feel all warm & fuzzy when you re-open wounds and bear their scares of weaknesses & downfalls just so that you can get the upper hand and pull their strings again.

Nothing…they owe you nothing.

The only thing they owe you is to the pay it forward- improving on what was passed down by you when they were passed up by others.

Hopefully all that you’ve done-the long talks, the sacrifices, the discipline, the love…hopefully you did all of that simply because someone did it (or didn’t do it) for you and you just wanted to improve on that.

Catch The Sales Life w Marsh Buice daily podcast. Find it on iTunes or your favorite podcast platform.

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