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I Pledge Allegiance

The following is a story about standards in life, marriage, and business

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I Pledge Allegiance

I Pledge Allegiance

By Jeff Glass, Social Entrepreneur, Writer, Youth Advocate

“If you never settle for anything less than your best, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish in your life.”

-Vince Lombardi

To The Flag

I am incredibly thankful for my life. I am blessed to live in a great country of free enterprise and personal liberty. However, life is not just about where you build, it is who builds it with you that can make all the difference. This is the story of how I found paradise.

I thought I knew what it meant to have standards until I met a beautiful woman who would forever change my world and spend a lifetime challenging me to think, to experience, and to reach new levels of understanding. Her beauty extended beyond her charm and exterior looks. What truly attracted me to her was the esteem she had for herself, and her commitment to a set of high standards.

I still remember her saying, “God is first in my life; no man will ever be. You can be second if you want. We can be friends, or you can marry me. And furthermore, sleeping together prior to marriage is not an option.”

That was a lot to take in for the first date. Wow. All I could think was, “Check, please.” This woman was unusual. I did not even know how to respond. So, I did what any guy would do who was told he could not have something; I married her. It looks like she influenced me to make the right decision. This has become a theme throughout our marriage. Game on.

To the Spouse

I share this story with you because it spoke to me at my core; my teacher on standards came from an unexpected source: my bride. This woman is timeless in her beauty and eternally minded in her impact. She is a strong woman of faith, dedicated to giving and loving other people unconditionally. I am glad she married me, but if that had not been an option, I would have applied for the best friend position.

Besides being a dedicated mother and an incredible spouse, my wife’s passions are to dance, build up others, coach people to walk in their calling, and design flags centered around praise and worship. One day I was helping her with branding, because naturally I would work for her; that was clear at the outset. I looked up the word “flag” to hopefully find some helpful information. A synonym was the word “standard.”

This seemed like an odd find; then I thought about it. . .

When a group or an individual declares a country or their land, they put up a flag. Not numerous flags; one. That flag represents ownership under a specific set of standards. In reality, a flag is just an object. By itself, a flag does not hold any meaning. The standards represented are what give the flag its significance. The flags my wife designs are incredible pieces of art, but what is even more beautiful is the way she is designed. The flags she creates represent a reflection of her standards.

  My wife influences me to hold a set of high standards in my marriage, my parenting, my career and my life. Those standards direct me to say “no” to some opportunities, and “yes” to others. I once quit a job I loved. I have walked away from lucrative opportunities, and then have taken some of the greatest risks in my life because I was attracted to the standards.

To the Business

If you are the boss, the entrepreneur, never forget to keep asking yourself what standards, what brand, do you bring to your organization. Your brand is the reflection of the standards in a company. What type of employees are you attracting to represent your business? Do your employees reflect the brand?

Set aside your mission and vision statement. Put your business plan on the shelf for a moment. Identify your values first. Work on your standards next. For example, if you value generosity, then your standard may be giving to those causes in which you believe.

Remember, you cannot have two flags, two sets of standards, on the same land.

P.S. To my wife and best friend-

Thank you for setting the flag, the standard, for our marriage and our family. You consistently challenge me to reach for something greater than myself. I may be the leader, but your heart continues to lead us in the right direction.

“This morning, with her, having coffee.”

Johnny Cash, when asked for his definition of paradise

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