Tony Bennett, Joe DePinto, and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar – 3 Things Learned Last Week

Thinking through three interesting things I learned last week isn’t too hard, since I learn at least three things every waking hour. The difficult thing is deciding which things to share with you.  Sticking to the subject of leadership, three wildly different leaders legendary singer Tony Bennett, 7-Eleven’s CEO Joseph DePinto, and humanitarian Sri Sri Ravi Shankar each have much to share.

1. Once upon a time, 7-Eleven was a South Dallas ice company owned by a Dallas family. It changed-and continues to change. Today, it is a world-wide convenience store business owned by a Japanese company.  West Point grad Joe DePinto is CEO> His grab bag of interesting updates included the fact that the company, still headquartered  in Dallas, is according to Mr. DiPinto now larger than McDonald’s. That’s one thing I didn’t know.

2. An Indian venture capitalist, a Texas documentary filmmaker, and a Japanese politician invited me to hear acclaimed Indian guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar speak. He leads the international Art of Living Foundation which aims to relieve stress at an individual level, disease and violence at a societal level. His organization has programs in schools, prisons, and after 9-11, offered them free of charge to New Yorkers.  Several things he said caught my attention. One of more interesting ideas is this quote about “truth.”

“Truth is spherical rather than linear; so it has to be contradictory.” “Anything that is spherical is always contradictory,” says Sri Sri.

3. My buddy Kay and I went to the Meyerson Symphony Hall in Dallas to hear crooner Tony Bennett. I’ve never heard him perform live. He’s 82-years young and delivered his lyrics with such rich sentiment, songs I’ve heard my entire life seemed brand new. Intentionally, he sang one song with the mike turned off, just his natural voice.  On occasion, he danced to the music. He was gracious to the other musicians and graceful on stage. I had no idea what to expect.

I learned what it can be like to be 82, still rockin’ and having a blast.