Hi friends! It’s Jason with the Blue Gurus blog post for this week.
I really enjoy meeting new people and training them on using LinkedIn and blogging to grow their businesses. I got a good dose of that feeling today when I did a 3 hour, in-depth training session on LinkedIn for Enterprise University. EU is a training program that Enterprise Bank offers to customers and prospects. There were about 35 people in the class today and we met at the Hallbrook Country Club, a beautiful venue for sure.
As I was driving to the club at 7:30 am, I was thinking about the fact that today is 9/11. It’s hard to believe that today is the 13th anniversary of the terrible events and thousands of lives lost on September 11th, 2001. I remember exactly where I was at when it was happening. I was with my family in Colorado. We had rented a cabin in Colorado Springs as our staging point for Garden of the Gods, the Pike’s Peak cog railway, hiking up Seven Falls, and more.
On the morning of 9/11/01, we were going to take the cog railway up Pike’s Peak. I went out to the car to wait for the rest of my family and turned on the radio. The station it was on had some person talking, so I changed the channel. The next station I found had another person talking, so I changed the channel again. When I got to the third station and it was still someone talking, I started to listen and realized everyone was reporting that planes were crashing into the World Trade Center. I couldn’t believe it. I went back into the cabin, and we turned on the TV and watched the news unfold for the next two hours. I was shocked, heart broken, and angry. The emotions were raw and stayed with me for weeks.
And then a year went by. I remembered the events like they were yesterday on the first anniversary. And then a couple more years went by. Lots of things happened in life and in business. I got married. Moved a couple of times. Started my own business. And thirteen years later I found myself in the Enterprise University class at Hallbrook Country Club getting ready to teach people a lot of cool stuff about LinkedIn. I wanted to recognize the day as a group, but I didn’t really know what to do. A moment of silence? A quick discussion? I just didn’t know what to do.
Luckily, I was saved by Britt. Britt came to the class to learn about networking on LinkedIn. She is a singer. She sings at weddings, sports events, funerals and corporate events. During one of the breaks, she came over to me and said, “You know, it’s 9/11. Do you think it would be appropriate if I sang the national anthem?” I was floored. I mean it. You know that I am rarely at a loss for words, but it took me a minute to respond to Britt. I loved the idea and pulled up a picture of the American flag on the big screen I was using for my training.
When everyone got back from the break, I asked them to stand for the National Anthem in memory of 9/11. It got really, really quiet. Britt sang the anthem beautifully. It was an amazing moment. Here was a room full of business people that didn’t really know each other. And we all took a minute to remember the events of 9/11 together. Some people sang along quietly. Others had their hands over their heart. And it was one of those moving moments that doesn’t happen very often. It was unexpected. And powerful. I was so thankful that Britt was brave enough to sing in front of the group.
For me, there really is no distinction between “business” and “personal”. It’s just life. I am the same person whether we are training your executive team on LinkedIn or having a beer together at a Royals baseball game. Today was a reminder to me that we are in this together and there is always common ground.
So as you read this, I hope you will join me in remembering 9/11. If you knew or were related to anyone at ground zero that lost their life, I am so sorry. And my respect and thanks to the bravery of the police, firefighters and other services that responded so quickly trying to help.