I have a family of Brown Eyed Girls, and that song has always been a big favorite among the four of us. We used to listen to it driving around with our daughters when they were little. You might have a similar experience with songs that matter a lot to you.

Recently, the four of us attended a wonderful event together – a wedding in the family of our younger daughter’s long-time boyfriend. We were sitting with our older daughter and her boyfriend and enjoying a nice time. Then the DJ played Brown Eyed Girl. Immediately, I was transported back 20 years and could hear them both singing along in the back seat.

I sprang into action. I just knew that we had to have a “family moment” as this special song was playing, so my hand shot up to flag down our younger daughter to come over and join us. I waved and I waved but to no avail. She didn’t see me. Then I realized something really important.

She didn’t see me because she was playing a valuable role that day. Her boyfriend’s family was really busy and needed another pair of hands and she knew she could be helpful. It seems she naturally was.

At that moment, I had to let go, just a little, of one of my Brown Eyed Girls. She wasn’t the little girl in the back seat anymore; she was the adult, doing exactly what was needed at the moment. Being a parent is tough sometimes, but I guess we have to let them go to be what they are destined to be.

Now, I suppose, Van the Man might not be quite as sentimental about this experience as I seem to be. He probably isn’t really conscious of some knucklehead and his family in Southern California who love his 40 year old song. He may not care, but he might be surprised that what he “said” with this song is still sticking with people so many years later.

It makes me think about how each of us really never know what impact we have on others. Obviously, the big things always matter, but it seems that even the smallest interactions with others might be significant – and we really can’t know what will be. While I know that I mess up all the time, I’m trying more and more to remember that what I say, how I treat people, and what “comes naturally” to me could possibly have a big effect on others. We really can’t know for sure.

I’m sure each of us has stories to tell about how little things have mattered a lot. Have you ever recalled something that was significant in your own memory, but when you mentioned it to someone else who was also there, they don’t recall it at all? We really don’t know what will matter, do we? Here’s to keeping in mind that how we choose to behave makes a difference in the lives of others, and even the small stuff matters.

Thanks for sharing time with me; as always, I welcome your thoughts and feedback and please feel free to pass this message along to others who may find value.

Quick Business Update: I’m excited to announce that Zena Peltier (peltier@mbsearch.net) has joined my practice as Associate Consultant. Having come off a very strong 2011 we want to be prepared for increasing client needs in 2012 as the labor market for high-impact talent is clearly tightening. We stand ready to help.


Jeff Black
Partner, McDermott & Bull Executive Search
Cell: (714) 356-1949 Office: (949) 753-1700 ext. 310
2 Venture, Suite 100 Irvine, CA 92618
black@mbsearch.net http://www.mbsearch.net/ http://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffblackmcdermottbull http://www.jeffblackmcdermottbull.blogspot.com/