PARENTING QUESTION: When Do My Kids Become Adults?

Jeff Snow

PARENTING QUESTION: When Do My Kids Become Adults?  I had breakfast with Jeff Snow yesterday.  Jeff is a long-standing OC Influencer for Good whose professional life is with Republic Services, one of OC’s waste disposal companies.  Additionally, Jeff sits as a volunteer on seventeen Boards and is an Adjunct Professor in business ethics at a private OC christian university.

So, let me tell you about the focus of our conversation…totally unexpected and most invigorating!  We talked about parenting.   Jeff and his wife are raising two children, a daughter who just graduated  from high school and a son who is in high school.   Jeff said something  fascinating to me when he stated, (paraphrasing) “I want my parenting responsibilities to go on for as long as they can. I’d love to have my active, direct parental influence to accompany their life all the way until they are 30!

That was a “Wow.”   We hear how the Millennials never leave home and never grow up.    Jeff sees it differently. The parenting game with Millennials requires more active time and attention.  “Bring it on.”  Jeff’s  clarity was apparent.  I asked him why he thought as he did.   He had a crisp response.  Again, let me capture the flow of Jeff’s thinking…not his actual words:

My kids are likely going to live to be well over 100.  This generation will totally transform the paradigm of life expectancy.  This younger generation is looking at life and work totally differently than we have.

The Millennial generation will work well into their 80’s and 90’s, not out of necessity but out of the health, vitality, productivity and lifestyle that will be different from our generation.   Anticipating their longer life, my children will  experience their professional years differently.  Changing cultural circumstances are in play.  We, parents, need not define our children’s entry into the adult world in the same way our generation and our parent’s generation did.  

The learning, discovering and maturation for what might be called professional life work is going to start later and last much longer.  As a parent, I see it my opportunity and desire to nurture my kids’ movement into adulthood with a distinctly different paradigm not defined by the one that guided me.

My narrative:   Jeff’s thoughtful exploration of what is happening in our culture with the development of children into adulthood is far more insightful and purposeful than the ongoing national lament we hear about Millennials that basically asks these question:  Why aren’t our kids doing what we did?  What’s the problem? Why aren’t they making things happen like we did at 25-30?

Jeff sparked my imagination because he sees the content of his parenting in the context of radically changing life expectancy.  The actuarial reality of ‘up and coming’ adulthood offers a new, unknown curve of learning, preparing, exploring, and discovering.  It’s different.   Jeff sees his parenting responsibilities and interests as vitally important to help his kids prepare for an adult world neither he nor they fully understands…but he knows he is 100% committed to be a force of influence for good in the changing cultural milieu of his kids becoming competent, caring, capable adults.

Jeff’s viewpoint: Welcome the extended years of practicing effective parenting at the side of young adult children.  Be their partner and join them on their road.  Don’t pursue an agenda that says, “Do it my way.”

Jeff was refreshing.  He knows his kids will live in a world that will be quite different than the one he understands.  He knows his Parenting Why:   Encourage. Guide. Accompany.

What say you, Inspiration Impulse Reader?  Would love to receive some input.


Dave Elliott

Dave Elliott teed up a fabulous Santa Ana Community Forum last week engaging community leaders in a 2-day intensive Fly Over exploring the 7 pillar community institutions that define the diverse city of Santa Ana.

Here are our  participants IMG_0657  who arrived on Thursday morning as individuals and left on Friday afternoon as co-collaborators.  All of our participants provided some feedback in their Forum Evaluation comments.  Let me share some meaningful morsels with you:

The Most Important Take Away:                                                                                                                          Critical connectionsThat’s #1 for me.                                                                                                                      Jason Holland, VP Community Engagement Segerstrom Center for the Arts

The power of connecting and collaborating to address growing community issues.                                                     Tim Strauch, VP & COO, OneOC

The most important Take-Away was how the community pillars interact with one another and how all seven impact each other in many ways.                                                                                                                                         Tony Perez, Marketing and Community Relations, KPC Health

Gathering information from a range of industries/topics to help UCI gear of its new engagement initiative.             Judith-Norris, Vice-Provost, Academic Planning UCI

There’s no shortage of potential partners in Santa Ana/OC…really appreciated the group and the guests.                 Drake Levasheff, Director of OC Campus, Azusa Pacific University

Change: I learned extremely valuable and applicable information that will allow me to connect with leaders and organizations to create positive change in the city.                                                                                               Judson Brown, Housing Manager, City of Santa Ana

There are excellent resources available in Santa Ana. Meeting the Forum member was very valuable as I plan to follow up to establish relationships that will benefit us all.  Thank you for your vision.                                          Linda Rose, President, Santa Ana College

Understanding of priorities for different sectors. Exciting to see the amazing things happening in the city.  Eye opening to all the positives!  Made great connections for collaboration.                                                               Sylvia Vazquez, Community Development Analyst, City of Santa Ana

Mike Weissman CSF Our participants appreciated the closing Business Pillar Presentation by Mike Weisman, Founder and President of Amusement Park. These sentiments represent the feeling of the participants:             The most important one for me was definitely the talk on values.  He really resonated with me personally and professionally, and I will take what I learned from Mike and apply it somehow to what I do.                                    Elizabeth Aguilar, COO Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast

The Story of WE was on display in the Institute’s second annual Santa Ana Forum.   Dave, great job bringing together this year’s program of presenters and community participants.

FAILURE: Predictor or Prelude?

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FAILURE: Predictor or Prelude?    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”  Winston Churchill.   To predict is to use information to support probable future events.   Predicting failure as our future is holding to a tight belief that past performance will very likely be repeated.   Again, Churchill says, Stop…re-think the belief that past failure is a predictor  Again, Churchill states, ” Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”

Henry Ford also understood failure as Prelude, which means he understood failure as continuous opening, discovering, learning, encountering.   Ford spoke of failure this way:  “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”

What about J.K Rowling, the most prolific and successful writer of the late 20th, early 21st century?  What has she discovered about past failure as predictor or prelude?  She states, ” Failure is so important.  We speak about success all the time.  It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I’ve met people who don’t want to try for fear of failing.”

So, I ask you, my Inspiration Impulse Reader, how do you weigh in?  Is failure-to-success a function of keeping on, keeping on as a risk-taker with life’s opportunities to be a continuous, optimistic learn at home, at work and in the community?   I believe so.   I am not familiar with  Eloise Ristad, but I do love what she writes about failing into success:  “When we give ourselves permission to fail, we, at the same time, give ourselves permission to excel.”

Over the past month, I have had the opportunity to come alongside a professional who has been grappling with the issue of failure as predictor.   As I have listened with an intuitive mind to this professional talk about the fear of being defined by past failures, I have noticed that failure always seeks a final verdict.   Failure always wants a tombstone.  Failure always says, ‘Let’s settle up.’  Failure declares, “Game Over; Go Home. You’re Done.”

When the predictive mental habit of failure speaks like a hammer hitting your head, it feels like a nightmare you are waking up to daily.   Ultimately, this nagging nightmare can become what we carry into each day and accept as the Truth.

The fact is that the nightmare of permanent, unending failure is a nightmare of a mind  denying the hopefulness of becoming a Forever Learner.   When we transform failure from Constant Nightmare to a Forever Learner, we stop beating our head against a closed door called Success and, instead, we put our hand on the doorknob of the Success door and turn it, ever so gently, with our mental/emotional/spiritual intention to purposefully step forward  into  a new room of learning.

Many people have come my way over my lifetime to tell me how they have beat their on a door of failure they can’t open.  My counsel has  always the same.  Beating your head against failure’s door  will not heal you. Get your hand on the doorknob of Today, and turn that doorknob, knowing your past is never intended to predict anything.  Your Past is life learning leading you forward.  Open the door named Now.  Walk forward with your Past.  It predicts nothing. Simply walk forward knowing you are creating anew.  C.S Lewis understood failure as  Prelude.  He wrote, “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.”

A good week awaits you!  Embrace it.  Pursue it.  See it. Feel it.  Invite your Past to move purposefully with you.


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HOW’S YOUR UBER RIDER RATING?     This Post is a bit of Friday Fun, on my part, with my Inspiration Impulse audience.  So, let me do just that with you while I possibly educate you about the world of UBER and its application to this Game called Life.

Did you know that UBER Driver’s rate their Riders?  Yes, it’s true! Only recently, Only in the last two months, have it had the opportunity to use UBER including this week as my wife and I used the transportation service for a ride to LAX to visit our daughter and family in Monterey.

Last evening as we were talking after dinner,  my daughter, Leah,  blurted out, “Do you know your UBER Rider Rating?  I said, ” What are you talking about?”   She replied.  “Yes, when you take a ride, the UBER Driver rates the quality of his/her passenger.  You can go into your UBER account to see how you have been rated by your Drivers.  Basically, in the simplest way to describe it,  if you are have a 5 rating, you are a top caliber rider; 4 rating is decent;  3 is sub-par.  UBER even provides a bit of on-line criteria!  Crazy, huh… but maybe not!

Immediately, I asked my daughter, “Is a rating based  on tipping?”   I simply guessed that tipping was the criteria for a good rating.  I had been told that the tip is included in the Fare.  “Oh no, a tip is not necessarily the reason for a GOOD rating,” my daughter replied.  Then she said, “Why don’t you go into your UBER account and find out your Rider Rating.”

So, I did.   Guess what? I have a 5.0 Rider Rating!   Yes, yours truly, Mr. Inspiration Impulse…  a Top Cabin Preferred UBER Rider.   I have never tipped once in the 8-10 times I have used the service.  So, if money is not the issue, what makes for a 5.0 Rider in a Driver’s mind?

That question is the reason for writing this Post.   Basically, I know that I have made an effort to take up conversation with a Driver when I ride.  I have learned a bit about the Driver’s  world; I have shown interest in their challenges.  I  purposefully  have found something fascinating or interesting to talk about with the Driver.

This week, as my Driver and I depart at the end of a ride, I again made it a point to express my appreciation for the Driver”s service.    That, my friends, is a 5.0 Rider!   At least I think it is.   Why?   People love to be appreciated, sought out for information, asked questions about their life and challenges.  When pursued sincerely, such  interactions are the fuel of offering perceived value and respect between individuals.

Now, does that mean that an extra tip is not appreciated?   Of course, money is always welcomed, don’t you agree?  But, 5.0 UBER Riders, I am surmising, don’t reach the mountaintop with money.  No, 5.0 Uber Riders reach those Lofty Heights….ha ha ha…with sincerity, kindness, respect, and regard for the worth and dignity of a Driver who feels a sense of value in their work that is not simply a monetary exchange.

What say you?  I’d like to think that this UBER tale has far more to say about human interaction than  aimless car conversation.  Do you think so?  Don’t we all want to know we are valued?  Can we all find ways to present ourselves to others with an open hand of Sacred Regard for the another?

It was fun sharing this with you. Have a great weekend.



Suite 700     EXPLORING NEUROLEADERSHIP     I would like to introduce you to an extraordinary OC Influencer for Good.  His name is Dr. Robert Adamik.  Over the last 10 years, Bob has become a professional colleague and friend to me.   He is a gifted professional who has energized and focused his life by being a prolific researcher and life-skills practitioner helping individuals discover how to think, act, relate and perform with excellence.  For more than 30 years, Bob’s professional world has been in HR guiding people to embrace their unique abilities and talents in their work world.

About ten years ago as the Great Recession hit America Bob created ETHOS.  The organization, ETHOS, became Bob’s gift to 1000’s of work professionals  to come together…network, re evaluate their professional tool set and stay inspired and purposeful while exploring a new place for their talents and skills.

It was during this period that Dr. Bob…how his many friends and colleagues call him…began what has become

his passionate exploration into the exciting world of neuroscience and leadership.  Now ten years later, Bob has read and synthesized over 50 books on brain research, psychology and leadership.  Bob is one of a growing community of national leaders and researchers helping business leaders understand how to lead,manage, collaborate and shape the now emerging, early 21st century story  called NeuroLeadership.

Last January, I invited Dr. Bob to present a highly interactive  workshop he has developed on his work with NeuroLeadership.  The workshop, NeuroLeadership and You was presented by Passkeys Foundation.

Our 27 attendees experienced a rich morning of discovery.  Bob’s skills as a Facilitator were simply outstanding.  In the months following the event, Bob and I have reviewed and evaluated the workshop and we have decided that we want to make this workshop available again to our Inspiration Impulse and Institute for Community Impact audiences.  So, we have a date, Saturday, Morning, July 15th, 9 am-12 Noon including breakfast at the Atrium Hotel off MacArthur across from JWA.

I am providing you with the link that will take you to  the  EXPLORING NEUROLEADERSHIP workshop and registration information.  On that Saturday you can join with other OC Influencers for a morning of extraordinary discovery that will push the needle of self discovery dramatically forward.  I promise that the tools and insights you will experience at this program can offer you a transformative look into your personal and professional life.

Here is the Event and Registration link.  Go learn.  Hope you can make it: Saturday, July 15th

Have a great day.



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KEN BLANCHARD: MONDAY MOTIVATORS   He stands in the Pantheon of Leadership Development.   During my professional career I have had the opportunity to listen and learn from this Marketplace Sage who blends brilliant, down-home substance and style to help leaders understand the fundamentals of positive influence for good.

So on this Monday, I want to provide a bit of Ken Blanchard Wisdom to help guide our day, our week and our understanding of what causes people to become fantastic motivators who shape the good at home, at work and in the communities of their influence.

So, with that brief introduction, let’s experience Blanchard at his best with a sampling from 100 Quotes by Ken Blanchard.   I begin with: The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.  In the past a leaders was a boss. Today’s leaders must be partners with their people.

These three sentences capture the heart of influential leadership in every field.   I have been influenced to produce good work by having mentors work their magic of accompanying and teaching me to step boldly.  Leadership walks with.  Leadership accompanies. Leadership challenges.

None of us is as smart as all of us.  I am always amazed at the power of Group Think.   The synergy of conceiving, birthing, nurturing and finally delivering an idea toward an outcome is so exciting when the genesis of great outcomes is built on the bedrock of shared collaboration.  Let’s hear Blanchard comment, again, on this subject: Leadership is not something you do to people. It’s something you do with people.

If you want your people to be responsible, be responsive to their needs.  Journey back into your professional life  and mentally revisit one or two individuals who were major players shaping you as a professional.  Every Inspiration Impulse Reader who takes a moment will experience the same common thread: Leaders are responsive to the needs of the individual…you and me.  Great Leaders operate with the DNA of caring about the needs of another.

Why is accompanying with care  a vital focus of great leadership? Blanchard delivers another gem with these words:  People who feel good about themselves produce good results.   Feeling good about ourselves! Wow, that requires daily exercise, not just in our thought world but in our relationship world.  Feeling good about ourselves  often has a story-line of  mutually share experiences.   Watch any athletic team win a big game and you will always see the feel good story  is rooted in the contributions of many.  WE thrive on accomplishing together.  WE excel pursuing goals together.

This leads me to a final gem from Blanchard:  You have the power to help people become winners.  WE love to win together.   That is the genius of today’s leadership mission, winning together.   In a world that often isolates and separates itself by Us vs. Them,  great leaders pursue the opposite…uniting, bringing together, including and empowering the many to move in the rhythm of One…individualized by the efforts of many.

Our understanding of leadership, as found in the contributions on this subject by Ken Blanchard, rests on a rock-solid foundation.  Leadership stands with others, not above.

Let’s make a week of it, in whatever arena of life with we can exercise our leadership role, to find our way to stand with others, lift up others, and celebrate our shared successes with others.


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COMMENCEMENT: CROSSING THE THRESHOLD    It’s that time of year for Rite of Passage Celebrations.   Are you or have you…my Inspiration Impulse Reader…attended a high school or college graduation ceremony  celebrating the movement from the harbor of childhood and youth into the open seas of life’ s expansive journey?

I won’t be a proud parent or grandparent this year at such an event.  I am just a few years away from a string of Grandchildren who will leap over that first hurdle called High School Graduation.  As for my kids, that leap and the college leap is now long past as they are in their 30’s and 40’s.

So what’s it all about…this Rite of Passage?  Well, it has a common thread.    Let’s just call it…a moment to pause,  reflect, understand, consider…what’s the game we are pursuing as we move through the important gateways of childhood and young adult life?

I thought I would share some Snapshots of these commencement moments.   Below is a handful  of quotes from famous folks who were asked to pontificate as a Commencement Speaker on college campuses just a year ago with 2016 graduates.    These quotes were captured in an education article that appeared in  Business Insider.  As you read them, enter back into your story of commencement…see what you think and feel.

Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court Justice, “The uh-oh moments are worth cherishing as much as the a-ha moments.”

Jim Gaffigan, Comedian,   “Love what you do, love who you are and love those around you.”

Russell Wilson, NFL Football Player:  “The moments that really matter are the moments when life tells you ‘no‘ ”

Oprah Winfrey, Author, Actress, Media Mogul, Philanthropist, “Every stumble is not a fall and every fall does not mean failure.”

Steven Spielberg, Filmmaker, “Your job is to create a world that lasts forever.  You are the future innovators, motivators, leaders and caretakers.”

James Franco, Actor, “Life is better when it is in the company of others.”

Peter Thiel, Venture Capitalist, ” If we choose to believe that we are powerless to do anything that is not familiar, we will certainly be right.”

J.K. Rowling, Author Extraordinaire, ” We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.”

Well, are you pondering any common ground in this cluster of quotes?    Here’s an Inspiration Impulse  thought that may put a bow around this commentary on commencement.

Live a life boldly looking forward with others…even, in those times, when you are on your knees with your hand reaching up.

Enjoy your weekend.