by Joe Flores –

All it takes is 1°…

In August of 2006, I was working my way through a branch office of a brokerage firm in Boca Raton, Florida. I remember the day very vividly; it was a hot, humid afternoon around 2pm and in typical South Florida fashion, the sun was shining, but we were in the midst of an afternoon downpour outside. I was going about my day, knocking on doors, shaking hands, generally just trying to do my job. I remember cutting through a conference room, looking for the kitchen to grab some water and a very interesting banner caught my attention. It was royal blue and against the backdrop of beige wallpaper, it was almost impossible not to notice. It was next to the podium and stood about 6 feet tall in the air. At first glance, I thought it was one of those framed inspirational pictures you’d see in offices. You know the ones…”leadership”, “determination”… something that you would expect to see hanging in Michael Scott’s office at Dunder Mifflin.


This picture was different, however. It showed the number 212 at the top of the banner and proceeded to tell a story below. It talked about water and how a 1° change meant the difference between being able to power a locomotive engine and not. You see, at 211°, water is simply that. It’s starting to slowly boil and swirl, but it’s still simply just water in its liquid form. If you add 1° on top of 211°, though, that’s when the physical transformation takes place; that’s when steam is released and it starts to convert to its gaseous form, at 212°. With that one extra degree, an entire freight train with 100 cars and literally hundreds of tons behind it can be powered and pulled down the track. With that one extra good degree, things happen. Powerful things.


I couldn’t help but think about that banner last Friday night at the 2016 Becky’s Warriors Golf Outing. I listened to our guest speaker, Eric Flaherty, talk about the impact that Becky’s Warriors had on him and his family. I thought about everything that had gone on over the past year, all the planning, all of the late-night conversations, all of the preparation. I thought about the multiple families we were able to help over the past year and some of the newer challenges that we are just learning about. With all of this in mind, I’m not exactly sure where we are as far as an analogy to boiling water and freight trains. What I do know is that we are starting to make significant progress as an organization. We are beginning to see our vision percolate and spread to others who are as inspired as we are to help others to focus on the fight.


All it takes is 1° of change and things happen.