Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Last April, I had the pleasure of watching my twin brother pounce on a promotion within Bacardi USA. It was a whirlwind of flights, interviews, offers, benefits packages, introductions to HR support staff, a company vehicle, realtors, mortgage brokers, phone calls, e-mail announcements, MySpace announcements, and a moving truck. Needless to say, Bacardi wanted the position filled immediately, and he was barreling through an incredible series of events and decisions.

To the seniors who are weeks away from buying caps and gowns, embrace change. My brother and I lived together for 26 years, and he shared an important lesson with me on April 21, 2006. As we celebrated his promotion over dinner that Friday night, he talked about the fundamental value of change in our lives.

At that time, we still shared a fully functional and furnished apartment in downtown Austin. The next weekend, moving boxes would consume half of our shared space, and he would board a one-way flight to Grand Rapids. I’m sure he was a little reluctant to leave Austin behind, but as he explained over dinner, it was the change in his life that gave him an incredible urge to move forward.

A long dinner led to the following words: “Always jump at the chance to try something for the first time. Live for the chance to try something for the first time. Your collection of first time experiences will always be the most exciting, because you get to learn about the unknowns, the risks, the possible failures, and most importantly, the person who embraced the change.”