My son Ben took a break from his job as an Outward Bound guide to share a Seven Fs golf trip with me. What a luxury!

My son, Ben, took a break from his job as an Outward Bound guide to share a Seven Fs golf trip with me. What a luxury!

In the fall of 2008, our son Ben left for college and never really came back. This weekend, he and I reunited over a father and son Seven Fs bonanza – a golfing trip during the peak of autumn colors in Northern Minnesota. We could have flown to Scotland and not have afforded such a luxurious experience as golfing together at The Legend and Quarry golf courses at Giant’s Ridge, Minnesota.

Today, Ben makes his living primarily as an Outward Bound Guide. The process he uses to inspire youth is very similar to the coaching processes we use to produce insight in leaders. We enjoy “talking shop” and dreaming about  the day when we will provide experience learning retreats for adult leaders.

Ben and I are both spiritual, artistic and athletic. It all blends together on a golfing Seven Fs bonanza.

Ben and I are both spiritual, artistic and athletic. It all blends together on a golfing Seven Fs bonanza.

Family affair

I wish every father and son could share the spiritual kinship of golfing together on special ground. Nearly twenty years ago the visionaries at the Iron Range Rehabilitation and Recreation Board transformed an unusable forest and boulder field into a world-class, jaw-dropping golf destination. The locals call it “God’s Country” – we just kept saying, “Wow!”, with every turn.

Mother Nature and Google Calendar both cooperated.

Mother Nature and Google Calendar both cooperated.

Thankfully, Mother Nature and Google Calendar both cooperated. Ben is a chip off the old block – living and scheduling a full life. We started scheduling this trip way back in February. What started as a five-day camping trip quickly narrowed toward two days of golfing. What a luxury!

Blending the Seven Fs

“This trip is a Seven Fs clean sweep, Dad,” Ben smiled on the car ride home. Faith: morning devotions became sun-baked conversations, relishing the splendor of the day. Family: the more our lives grow apart, the closer to the family core we remain. Finances: hours of conversation about how Millennials “piece it together” today. Ben’s doing just fine. Fitness: morning stiffness from 72 holes of golf in two days is a good reminder that the pursuit of pars and birdies is a good workout. Friends: new friends in the fairways and at Vi’s Pizza. Fun: everything about this trip was playful and joyful. Future: we listened to one another’s hopes and dreams – building strategic goals and tactical plans for who we want to be when we grow up.

#17 at The Legend course is my favorite golf hole ever. What a luxury.

#17 at The Legend course is my favorite golf hole ever. What a luxury.

Through our coaching and consulting work at Good Leadership Enterprises, we define “finances” as: How my money funds my priorities. That means less about how much things cost, and more about scheduling the most important things. It’s about Carpe Diem.

Good leaders find ways to create special moments with family and friends. And they find ways to afford and savor the simple luxuries of blending the Seven Fs.

Please share with me: what luxuries are you affording these days?