Blending the Seven Fs: the friends of Benjamin Paul Batz gathered in our kitchen to celebrate is Outward Bound job in the Florida Everglades. Ben is far upper left.

Blending the Seven Fs: the friends of Benjamin Paul Batz gathered in our kitchen to celebrate his Outward Bound job in the Florida Everglades. Ben is far upper left.

Which of the Seven Fs best describes why you work: faith, family, finances, friends, fun or future? Your answer might surprise you – I’ll share mine at the end of this blog.

Carpe Diem

Last weekend, our family capped a historic run of Christmas and New Year’s celebrations with a loud and raucous send-off party for our son. Like all recent college graduates, Benjamin Paul Batz is exploring what it means to work: setting an alarm, paying rent, taking direction from a supervisor, assessing his own performance and job fit. And finding ways to make his life count.

My son Ben Batz, will turn 25 years old next week somewhere deep in the Everglades. What fun!

My son Ben Batz, will turn 25 years old next week somewhere deep in the Everglades. What fun!

As of this writing, Ben is deep in the Florida Everglades. He’s earning his way as a Guide with Outward Bound – the world’s finest outdoor education non profit. Outward Bound will touch more than 70,000 students this year on the subjects of leadership, character development and life skills. Next week, he will celebrate his 25th birthday while paddling through America’s most famous swamp. How cool is that?

Seven Fs in Action

Over the twelve days of Christmas Ben and I bonded while hunting for tropical survival gear. Funny, REI in Minneapolis is only equipped for ice gear this time of year! So, we spent lots of time sitting side by side, shopping the internet on our matching MacBook Airs.

At this stage in your life, Dad…why do you work?” Ben asked.

Someday, I hope to take Executives into the Everglades to learn leadership, character and life skills...just like my son Ben.

Someday, I hope to take Executives into the Everglades to learn leadership, character and life skills…just like my son Ben.

Good question. Considering all of the Seven Fs…why do I work?  “Future.” I answered. Like any other family we need money to pay the bills and fund our endeavors. But my life’s mission is to shape the dialogue of leadership and business in a way that will help people everywhere see and feel that goodness pays. “Faith” and “family” are also legitimate drivers – but for me, it’s definitely “future”.

Reflecting Out Loud

The question challenged me to reflect out loud. My faith has never been deeper, family is strong, finances are OK,  fitness is improving, friends have never been better, life is definitely fun…and my work fulfills my sense of purpose about future. Retirement?  Maybe in 25 years. Today, I’m musing about taking a few executives deep into the Everglades to learn about leadership, character and life skills. With Ben leading the way, wouldn’t that be fun?

Good Leaders thrive because they think broadly about their life’s work. And they are willing to embrace the idea that working makes their life count.

Please answer the question out loud with someone: Why do you work?

OB.Aerial PS: Here’s the brain twister of the day: if there is no solid ground in the everglades, where do people sleep, eat and poop!?

We’ll find out when Ben gets back to his cell phone and he can call home.