Brian Summers is a former neighbor of mine. We were not close friends but occasionally chatted about sports, the weather and other generic topics. He is an excellent school teacher a man whom I would be only too happy to have my grandchildren admire as a role model.
Why do I say that?
Because Brian displayed an incredible amount of integrity through one action that I will never forget.
His hero was Cal Ripken, Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles who was recently inducted to the baseball Hall of Fame. Known as ‘The Iron Man,’ Ripken played in 2,632 games before retiring after 16 seasons in the major leagues. On September 6, 1995, Cal broke a 56-year old record established by Lou Gehrig of the New York Yankees when the Orioles third baseman played in his 2,131st consecutive game, against the California Angels.
Although Summers absolutely idolized Ripken and had a ticket to the ballgame, he chose instead to coach his son in a Little League game in Urbandale, Iowa! Brian had promised his team that if they advanced in a tournament he would be there to coach them.
The team advanced and Brian Summers kept his word. There is not a sports fan in the country who would have held it against him had he asked one of the other coaches to fill in for him that night, but it was not in the man’s makeup to break a promise to his son.
A promise was made and a promise was kept.
I don’t know who your hero is. What celebrity you have admired for years. What activity you have dreamed of attending.
I do know that many of us would be hard pressed to pass up an opportunity of a lifetime. On September 6, 1995, my neighbor did just that and I will forever hold him in high esteem for his action.
It is a lesson that every entrepreneur should take to heart. There are times when it is tempting to take a shortcut or an "everybody’s doing it" attitude about a questionable situation or deal. My hope is that—if tempted—you would take the high road and do the right thing. Keep a promise even when there is a high price to do so.
I admire Ripken for what he accomplished. But truthfully, there’s a part of me that admires Brian Summers even more.
Bill Sheridan—"Sheridan Writes" See my bio under Guest Authors
Bill Sheridan—"Sheridan Writes"
See my bio under Guest Authors
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