successful relationships
Corporate Culture

You Look Left; I’ll Look Right

Terri Jensen
Terri Jensen
Holmes Murphy Corporate

The father of one of my co-workers recently went to renew his driver’s license. At just over 90 years old, he was told he would need to take the driving portion of his test. Unfortunately, he failed. Two reasons. 1) He neglected to come to a complete stop at a stop sign, and 2) when he pulled out, he only looked left before heading out in traffic. Later, when his son asked him why he didn’t look right, the answer was simple. “Your mom looks right; I look left.” The good news is he passed on the second attempt (without his wife in the passenger seat).

This couple just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. Wow — 70 years seems like an impossibly long time to partner with anyone when you look at today’s fast-paced world. How many times did this couple hold hands? How many tears did they wipe away or moments of laughter did they share? How many disagreements did they have? And when did they learn to respect their differences and completely trust in one another? How many times did he look left while she looked right? Seven decades represents an extraordinary relationship built by two ordinary people.

Where am I going with this? Well, successful relationships are not passive. This goes for professional work relationships and not just personal ones. They take work, commitment, and grace. Relationships are introduced to new challenges and expectations regularly, and those people who face these challenges together can find strength through their partnership. When the foundation of trust is strong, a disagreement or misunderstanding is just a bump in the road. Think about how many times you’ve run into this in your own job. Heavens knows, a bump or two along the way will not deter you from your destination…whatever that destination or project be.

My message here is simple. I hope you have strong relationships in your life. At home and at work, I hope you have relationships that challenge you, support you, bring you strength, and keep you honest. I hope you have others to look out for while they look out for you. I hope you have someone to look right while you look left.

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