What's Your Slideshow?

Geoff Smith Portrait

BY Geoff Smith


This is perhaps not the most original message. In fact, I’m pretty sure that ‘Seven Habits’ author Steven Covey could cite me for plagiarism. But I think it’s a good reminder and a pretty fair anecdote as well.

If you read this blog, you know that we have recently celebrated the life of my Dad (and EllisDon founder) Don Smith. It was sad and terrific at the same time.

Near the end of the Visitation, a young man came up to me on his way out and said “You know, I never met your Dad, but I really wanted to come. And I didn’t know very many people, so I spent some time watching the slide show of his life. It was unbelievable. And now I’m thinking: What’s my slide show going to be?”

I replied, more or less, ‘If that one question is Don Smith’s impact on you, then how good is that? Now you have to go, because you have work to do.’

I confess that my Dad’s death, and that particular conversation, had a big impact on me as well – I’ve already made a list. I’ve got maybe thirty years if I’m lucky; I have work to do.

OK: Added Don Smith bonus section: As a ‘year-end’ message to ED’s employees a few years ago, I asked my Dad to give them some advice, whatever he thought he’d like to say. Here’s what he wrote:

1. Do not try to impress people because that is the way you will appear to them. The only person you have to impress is yourself.

2. Be careful, if you ever think you are doing well, you could become complacent. I personally have fallen flat on my face several times when I became over-confident.

3. Do not take your work home with you. Worrying about work at home can never help or change anything, besides you don’t get paid to worry.

4. Remember when you are dealing with people how you would like to be treated if you were in their place.

5. I try to think of myself as equal to other people, not inferior or superior.

6. Don’t worry, it may never happen.

7. Don’t be afraid to try new and different methods – it has always paid off for me.

8. Be sure to have a good sense of humour.

9. Get involved in your community.

Thanks for reading.