Check Out “The Johnson Letters”

I realize this is a different kind of post than what I typically write but since we all bring all of ourselves to work I hope you won’t mind me digressing for one blog post.

If you have children (especially teenage or young adult children) or nieces and/or nephews or kids you know or frankly anyone with a pulse (like employees), I think you’re going to enjoy this new site I created last week, simply entitled, The Johnson Letters (which is all about passing on life lessons from one generation to the next). You can reach it by clicking on the following link

In addition, I’ve also placed it on the right side of this site, under the widget section entitled “My Other Sites” in case you ever forget where it’s located.

The genesis of the idea behind The Johnson letters actually began years ago in a chance encounter, back in 2000, with the then, Lt. Governor of Maryland, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. The story takes too long to tell but what she did was rather remarkable. As I thought about that for the remainder of the day, I came to the following conclusion.

“I bet this is something she learned to do while growing up in the Kennedy household. She was probably told from an early age, ‘This is what Kennedy’s do,’ and then taught how to do it.”

I didn’t grow up having those kinds of experiences (though I have two incredible parents who are both educators) so I thought, “Someday, I ought to catalog some of the life lessons that I’ve learned in order that I might start a new tradition in our family of passing along life lessons from one generation to the next.” Why? So I could help speed up and enhance the chances/probabilities of success for my kids, their families, my nieces and nephews, their friends, etc.

The result of that thought (fourteen years later) is The Johnson Letters.

I’ve created a list of over 200 of these life lessons and will, to the best of my ability, write one a week for years to come. So far I’ve started with lessons like, “An Apology with a Reason Isn’t An Apology,” “95% is 5% Too Short,” “Do the Thing You Don’t Want to Do First,” “There Is No Success Without Sacrifice,” and a few more. I think you’re going to like them.

So, here’s what I’d like to ask of you.

  1. Read a few of the lessons yourself first (pick the ones that you think might be appropriate for some of the people you know)
  2. Pass along the ones you think might be appropriate for your kids or nieces or nephews or friends or employees (hey, what employee doesn’t need to be reminded of the four lessons I just listed)
  3. If you like the lessons, subscribe to the posts from “The Johnson Letters” so they’ll be sent straight to your email inbox
  4. Pick quotes out of these lessons to use when you’re coaching people in your life (trust me, you’ll find lots of quotable material–and there’s a lot more coming)
  5. Consider making your own version of “The Johnson Letters” for your own family. Start by asking yourself, “What lessons do I want to pass along to the next generation of my family so that each one of them has the best shot possible at reaching their full potential?”

In the meantime, go check out now.

To your accelerated success!

Question for Today: What is one of the best lessons that one of your parents or grandparents (or even a boss) passed along to you? Add that in the comments section below (or click here >> if you’re reading this by RSS or email)

Flickr image from Paul Worthington

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