What would 150 years look like to you?

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Sesquicentennial means “150th birthday celebration” – congrats to US Bank and Gustavus Adolphus College (Gustavus gave me this shirt!)

Happy Birthday to You, Happy birthday to you…it’s the most contagious tune in the Western world. When you reach 150 years old, you learn the word: sesquicentennial – pronounced [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][ses’-kwi-sen-ten’-ē-əl] – meaning marking the completion of a period of 150 years. I just made it to 50 – 1/3 of the way there. Maybe medical science will extend a human lifetime so that sesquicentennial is a human possibility. Maybe someday, but I’m not counting on it.

A grand sesquicentennial celebration: U.S. Bancorp Chairman, President and CEO Richard Davis, CFO Andrew Cecere and some of the bank’s longest-serving employees rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange on July 12, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Dario Cantatore/NYSE Euronext)

For now, I’m happy two of my favorite institutions are celebrating their Sesquicentennial: my alma mater, Gustavus Adolphus College and US Bank.  Last Friday, a team of long-term US Bank employees rang the bell at the New York Stock Exchange.  It’s an iconic image on the business landscape in America. I wonder if there is a Gustie in that image?

Lutheran Pastor Eric Norelius, founded Gustavus Adolphus College 150 years ago – the Sesquicentennial celebration just ended.

What does it take to sustain an organization over 150 years?  Four good things come to mind: rewarding excellence, demonstrating generosity, demonstrating fairness and spreading positivity. These are the cornerstone principles of Good Leadership – and they are alive and well at US Bank and Gustavus Adolphus College.  Banking and colleges are tricky business – a lot of complex people walk in and out of their doors everyday. It takes good leadership to stay out of trouble and consistently earn the public trust over 150 years.

Good leaders make a habit of embracing the challenges to earn the public trust. And they celebrate the major milestones in good style when the spotlight is shining.

What significant milestones are you celebrating?[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

2 Comments

  1. Tim S on July 23, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    On July 17, 2013, Disneyland turned 58. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not that old, but later this year on October 16th, the Walt Disney Company turns 90; on November 18th, Mickey and Minnie are turning 85; and on December 5th, Uncle Walt would have celebrated his 112th birthday. Now we’re getting somewhere.

    So why all the fuss? On Disneyland’s birthday, and thanks to social media, for some reason a great group of former Cast Members and friends became very nostalgic this year for some odd reason. We posted pictures of us back in the days when we worked at Disneyland, reminisced about funny stories and dear friends who have since departed us.

    What we discovered is that we didn’t fully comprehend the memories we were making for not only Guests, but also for each other. The bonds of friendship have withstood the test of time and spanned years. We didn’t fully appreciate what we had back then, but we all are looking back with gratitude and smiles in our hearts.

    Working at Disneyland not only made great friendships, but for so many of us, it laid the foundation for our professional careers. The skills we learned at a theme park taught us how to be good and effective leaders. Even with strict rules, we learned how to think outside of the box. It empowered us.

    Sure, turning 58 is an accomplishment, but it wasn’t a milestone birthday. But one other thing we learned last week was you don’t need a milestone birthday to celebrate. Do it while you can and cherish those memories.



  2. Tim S on July 23, 2013 at 8:42 am

    On July 17, 2013, Disneyland turned 58. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not that old, but later this year on October 16th, the Walt Disney Company turns 90; on November 18th, Mickey and Minnie are turning 85; and on December 5th, Uncle Walt would have celebrated his 112th birthday. Now we’re getting somewhere.

    So why all the fuss? On Disneyland’s birthday, and thanks to social media, for some reason a great group of former Cast Members and friends became very nostalgic this year for some odd reason. We posted pictures of us back in the days when we worked at Disneyland, reminisced about funny stories and dear friends who have since departed us.

    What we discovered is that we didn’t fully comprehend the memories we were making for not only Guests, but also for each other. The bonds of friendship have withstood the test of time and spanned years. We didn’t fully appreciate what we had back then, but we all are looking back with gratitude and smiles in our hearts.

    Working at Disneyland not only made great friendships, but for so many of us, it laid the foundation for our professional careers. The skills we learned at a theme park taught us how to be good and effective leaders. Even with strict rules, we learned how to think outside of the box. It empowered us.

    Sure, turning 58 is an accomplishment, but it wasn’t a milestone birthday. But one other thing we learned last week was you don’t need a milestone birthday to celebrate. Do it while you can and cherish those memories.



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