Chris Hummel: So when I look at how I impart knowledge to particularly a much younger generation, I start with my daughter. The oldest of my three children is seven years old. I wish she would listen to my advice more. I wish I had better advice to give her.
Chris Hummel: But I really sit down with her and I say, “How you treat other people doesn’t mean you always have to give in; doesn’t mean you always have to listen to peer pressure.” Obviously, as a parent I’m very conscious of peer pressure. But I say, “How you treat people demonstrates far more about you than it does about those people.”
Chris Hummel: And that’s even when you don’t like people. That’s when they do something wrong to you. She’s a great microcosm. She’s just at that age as she’s gone beyond the infantile emotional reaction to everything and she’s now slowly starting to build relationships and look at the way the world goes.
Chris Hummel: And then the second thing I’m trying to do to her is I say, “Build a portfolio.” I don’t quite use these terms to her obviously. But, “Build a portfolio of competencies. Don’t worry so much about your career or that linear progression of what you do. Think about it as a mosaic.”
Chris Hummel: And so a great example is she sings. She sings all the time. She’s singing whether it’s Taylor Swift or whoever. She’s singing all the time.
Chris Hummel: But then she comes and says, “I don’t want to learn the piano anymore.” And I said, “Well, if you want to be a singer, it’s not just about your voice. Are you able to act, to perform? Are you able to understand music so you could play the piano or the guitar? Are you social enough so that you can understand the feedback and feed off that?”
Chris Hummel: And if you take that little microcosm of my little daughter, I guess you can’t be on the American Idol anymore but who wants to grow up and be a singer, how she does that isn’t a linear path. It’s going to be this mosaic of things that zig and zag all over the place. And hopefully as a parent, I can guide her through that.
Chris Hummel: And as a leader, as a friend, I try and do the same thing with my friends, my employees, my peers, bosses to say that same thing, that linear is great. And yes, there’s a part of life that has to be like that. But revel in, marinade in the joy of this mosaic of experience that’s just completely unique.
Chris Hummel: We talked at the beginning Irish-Italian kid from Boston, speaks fluent Russian, with German last name or what not, who else can go and say that? I’m sure there’s somebody out there. I didn’t plan it that way but it just sort of came that way and I’m very happy that it’s taking me to this point. Hopefully, I can help others do the same thing.