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What Would Unk Do?
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From the Saturday morning IGNITE! sessions, Randy Richter delivers an inspired, poetic delivery about valuable lessons learned from a special mentor.

The full text appears beneath the video. 

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How could an otherwise infallible guy like Rick
Ask an opinionated, caffeinated son of a b* like me
To be on stage beneath these searing lights
To reach, excite, to teach, incite, to light a fire in this Ignite.

The tale I tell today is how I learned to lead a business
From a man who praised me, raised me, changed me from
A lazy little boy to the man I am today.
My Uncle Harold. Now catch what I say…

Harold came to Baltimore after the war. His business selling
Trailers. Tiny homes on wheels that people could
Afford. He added staff and stuff, built his reputation up,
Grew to lead his industry. Hall of Fame.

He hired me when I was just a kid. What I did (video starts here)
Was the scut work and the grunt round the lot. I hated washing
Trailers. Cutting grass, picking trash.
But it taught me how to work at work. And as the years went by I added

Knowledge. So by the time I went to college I could build a house from scratch,
Plumb and wire, close a buyer.
But even more than skills, I had a fire to go higher
From this philosophy my Uncle shared with me. He said:

First of all, you must articulate your vision.
Stake out your position, make a clear decision, where you aim to go
For success to grow know you gotta know
What lights your fire and keeps you burning every day.

Seek out super people to build a super team
Look for folks with hopes, alive, with drives, with super dreams,
Make yourself the beacon that’s seekin’ out the cream
Of the crop – top people that are smarter than you.

And when it’s time, hire the person, not the position.
Make the time to teach them, make their growth your mission.
Cause they learn as they grow, and you know it’s always so
That as they do, their life, and your business will grow too.

Then lead your team from out in front. Stand out from the pack!
Communicate your goals and thoughts, know they’ll have your back
As you tap their own desire, always push them higher,
Help them be the best at what they say and do and ar

Show them their objectives then get out of their way.
Let them know that boxes won’t restrict how they play.
Give them tools that help them work and guide them when they stray
Outside the lines. Trust them - they’ll go the right way.

Cause more of the same won’t keep you up on top.
Innovate, discriminate so customers don’t want to swap
Suppliers. Cause that’s when profits drop.
And business stresses climb. And businesses close shop.

Remember that some questions will not have an easy answer.
It doesn’t make you weak when you ask for a hand, sir.
Arrogance kills leaders just as dead as a cancer
And only a fool confuses ignorance with bliss.

And when you get stuck, kick back and trust your instincts.
Take a breath, take your pulse, take your time, and think
Through the things that you’ve learned. Get in synch with what you’ve done.
Accommodate. Extrapolate. Integrate. Activate.

‘Cause deep down inside, you know you’ll know what’s right,
Trust in your training. Follow your own light. But if you’re still stuck,
Just ask yourself this simple question,
Ask it clear and true, and follow it through:

What would Unk do?
You know you’ve shown your head is steady.
What would Unk do?
You know you’ve proven it already.
What would Unk do?
You know you’re totally ready.
What would Unk do?
What would Unk do?

The question that he posed, you see, while seemingly simple,
Is the key to where I’ve been, and where I’ll be throughout the journey
In my life. All my life I’ve tried to follow what he taught me.
His words have helped me find the way when the road was dark.

All these thoughts he shared with me have helped to keep me strong,
Through ups and downs, through thick and thin, when things were going wrong,
When times were bleak, when hope was weak, and life was piling on
His words were inspiration. Brought me affirmation

But now I’m getting older and the weight upon my shoulder
Starts to lift, a gift I work to pass on to my son.
We talk about his plans, where he stands, and how I can
Help prepare him for his journey, as he travels down his road.

And the biggest hint I share, the most important thing I say,
Is when you’re standing by yourself, on that awful day
At a fork in the road, and you don’t know how to go.
Take a breath, remember what you’ve learned and ask the question:

What would Unk do?
I know these words ring true.
What would Unk do?
‘Cause I know they’ve helped me through.
What would Unk do?
Use these words to help you too.
What would Unk do?
What would Unk do?

What would Unk do?

Randy Richter's LinkedIn profile

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