Funerals are Mandatory...

I spent yesterday traveling to and from a funeral on the other side of the metroplex. The funeral was for the step-mother of a member of our team who finished well, but lost a battle with cancer last week.

I'm not the most insightful leader, or the person who finds myself with the need (or ability) to regularly bestow leadership lessons to people who read my blog (I leave that to other, better leaders). But one of the leadership lessons I've learned in my career that I think is often neglected is this: when it comes to the people you serve alongside, funerals are mandatory.

Funerals aren't fun. They're not easy. Nobody enjoys them (except perhaps the funeral director who is cashing the check). They often come at the wrong time, in the wrong place. We're launching a major initiative for singles on Thursday, and there are a lot of loose ends that still need to be tied up for that. I needed to be in the office yesterday. But I learned a long time ago, if you have a chance to serve someone by attending a loved one's funeral, you need to do everything within your ability to be there.

You show your team that you're behind them, even in their darkest moments, and they'll follow you into battle.


lisa said...

You're right. Funerals are not fun. I've been to three since December. My grandmother and two of my friends who decided to take their own life.

This is mostly certainly NOT fun.

Kara said...

You are so right, but they are supposed to be a celebration of life and that is what I try to remember. It is all about being there for the family!

Catherine Banks said...


I learned this lesson in a big way when my mother passed away three years ago. The people at the service itself were a huge comfort to me. I was so touched at such a very hard time.

Catherine Banks