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Senior Correspondent

"Feet Love Us" is more than just a marketing slogan for the Brown family. One visit to a Brown's shoe store, and your feet will be thanking you for a very long time. Happy, healthy feet are essential for healthy lifestyles. Brown's specialize in fitting shoes, which is very different than selling shoes. http://www.brownscatalog.com/

We recently spent a couple of days with the Brown Family and their leadership team facilitating leadership development workshops at their leadership conference. Store managers come together from various locations along with all the other members of their leadership team, to continuously improve their leadership competencies and their teamwork. Their passion for the shoe business and their customers' foot health is downright contagious. 

Their fitting specialists are well prepared to work with each customer's unique needs. Advances in technology play a big part in diagnosing challenging foot issues assuring a good fit for customer's feet. A staff of certified pedorthists and fitting and product specialists make each fit the right fit.

This third generation family business was started by Ransome and Lois Brown in 1950 after Ransome returned from serving in the second World War. In the early years the family lived above the shoe store on the building's second floor. Lois (Ma) Brown was heard to say "I could come downstairs, walk out on that sales floor, look out the front windows, and see right into heaven." That's how much she loved the business. This passion for the business has been carefully transmitted to the next two generations and all who work there in a culture based on a foundation of service, dedication and growth.

We left the conference very inspired by the Brown family and their leadership team. Being with them inspired a talk I gave to a group of high school sophomores at a career day, entitled Love What You Do, Do What You Love. I believe the highlights of this talk apply to all of us, no matter where we are in our career, so here they are.

Coach Jeanne's Recipe for Making Every Career Decision the Right One

  1. Love your job, whatever it may be. It's a choice that ultimately leads to doing what you love.
  2. Discover and develop your talents. Each job, each assignment, each volunteer project will teach you something important. Be open to learning from each experience.
  3. As Benjamin Zander says, "Sit in the Front Row of your Life." Be the leader of your own life and your own career. Don't wait for things to happen. Make them happen.
  4. Make a positive difference to someone at least one time a day. It's addictive.
  5. No job is too small to be important. It's not what you do but how you do it.
  6. Pay attention to small things. Big opportunities come from doing small things well.
  7. It's your career. It's your life. Listen to advice from where ever it may come, and then listen to your heart.
  8. Know what jazzes you, gives you energy, and inspires you. What are you really, really good at? Be creative in finding ways to incorporate those strengths into your work.
  9. Put your heart and soul into whatever you choose. And, it will always be the right choice. You will be doing what you love and the world will be a better place because of you.

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