My Friend Phillip and the Lifetime Pass

Over the years, the recommendations of my friend Phillip have led me to work with three of my favorite clients. I am certain that my relationships with these three clients have helped me meet many other wonderful people. Needless to say, I owe Phillip—a lot. Without him, these relationships wouldn’t have happened.

Phillip is bright, friendly, and inspiring. Sometimes his ideas pay off in a huge way. He is very successful. But this brilliant, creative, friendly man has a bit of difficulty when it comes to small commitments. These little behaviors are annoying things—last-minute cancellations, missed phone calls, and the like. While they do disrupt my life a little bit, it’s nothing really major that would make me back out of the relationship. Phillip always apologizes for these minor defects. I always accept his apology. When I take all the good things and weigh them against the times he’s let me down, he is so far ahead on the great stuff that he gets a “lifetime pass.” And, I tell him so. When I do, he feels good and I feel better for forgiving him for being a chair. To this day, we are friends. I am his friend because when I consider someone’s actions, I ask myself: “Am I better off or worse off because of having this person in my life?”

With Phillip, the answer has always been, and will always be, in his favor. Phillip has been such a good friend and having him in my life has been such a good thing that I am grateful. This will always override any of his “negative” behaviors. That’s a lifetime pass. How many people do you have in your life to whom you have given a lifetime pass? Is the number high or low in your opinion? Most people want a higher number.

Source: Just let it go!: Being realistic about what we can and cannot change by Marshall Goldsmith | Leader To Leader, No.58, Fall 2010

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