In this episode of 15 Minutes With Charlie, Charlie Mechem sits down with an old and dear friend and former colleague at the legendary JM Smucker Company, Richard Smucker. Together they explore anecdotes from “Total Anecdotal: A Fun Guide to Help You Become a Better Speaker and Writer” as they pertain to Richard’s experiences in his personal and professional life.
Itty Bitty Dividends
Richard recalls that his father, Paul Smucker, had a wonderful sense of humor that always put people around him at ease. Because of Smuckers’ location in Ohio, most of the company’s shareholders were from the local community. This meant that there was a very close and personal connection at all of these meetings that Charlie references in his anecdote. His father, Richard says, always knew how to communicate with these people, many of whom he considered friends.
You may retire from your job, you never really retire, Richard says. You never retire from learning, from education, from doing things like travel or golf or being with friends. It is possible to age well, he says, having a sense of humor is key to having the right perspective in life.
There were four values Richard’s father always told him to have: say thank you for a job well done, listen with your full attention, look for the good in others, and have a great sense of humor. Those four values make for a better life.
Don’t Let the Old Man In
Sense of humor and putting things into perspective helps. Richard tells a story about playing golf with a man who was wearing a hat that read “DLTOMI.” He asked what that acronym meant and the man explained that his friend Clint Eastwood gave him the idea. They’d been golfing together, Eastwood was 88 years-old at the time. The man asked Eastwood how he did so many things in life and business despite his old age. To which Eastwood explained that the acronym meant “Don’t Let the Old Man In,” he wouldn’t let his age stop him from living his life.
In dealing with life, age, adversity, don’t let the old man in—Richard says, never believe that you are limited. Push beyond adversity.
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