Be the kind of person who significantly and positivly impacts others ~ Noni
We’ve all had people in our past who were instrumental in shaping our lives. A teacher, scout leader, neighbour, clergy… or in my case, my first real boss. While most of my friends were working for a buck twenty five an hour at the skating rink or the ice cream parlor or flipping burgers, I was learning how to run a business, (Radio Shack) from top to bottom. And, I was getting paid $5 per hour. (Standard was less than $2/hr for most teens then)
It was a dream job for an over achiever like me. I played with CB radios, sold stereos, learned how to build electronic stuff, balanced the register and maintained the inventories. When a customer demanded to speak to the manager, we were to tell them that in his (Herman Gerrits) absence, we were his replacements. He handed me the keys and asked me to close on Friday night, do the bank deposit, and open again Saturday morning. I think we got extra hours because Herman was pushing us towards excellence.
I never questioned my abilities because he never showed any doubt in them. He was matter of fact when he delegated duties. I look back now and realize he had a lot of faith in us. I have taken those experiences and built a work ethic that has set me apart from others in my field.
Sadly Herman Gerrits passed away on Mothers Day this year. I had lost contact with him over the years but thankfully had reconnected via Facebook. I’m glad I had the opportunity to thank him and share with him my experiences over the 30+ years that had flown by since our days back at the Shack.
He will be missed, but in every project I do, there’s a little bit of Herman… the dedication, enthusiasm and confidence I have today is greatly due to his guidance and encouragement.
If you’re in a position to mentor or lead young people, give them the benefit of the doubt… expect greatness from them and challenge them to push past their comfort levels and have fun! Herman always loved to have fun!