Phrases of yesteryear provide best advice

Published 10:06 am Thursday, October 31, 2013

Column: Display Type, by Crystal Miller

Tribune Editor Tim Engstrom always keeps the staff on its toes with new words, phrases and English language rules.

My favorites are not actually new words or phrases; rather they are expressions from yesteryear — words and phrases that now come second to modern slang. Many times they are better described as proverbs. And always, they are good words or phrases to live by.

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My favorite memory of Tim’s yesteryear phrases is the great debate of ’08 with Tribune sports reporter Nathan Cooper. The debate was over the phrase “salad days.”

I cannot remember the details of the debate; I’m sure it was in association with the expression, heyday. The phrase “salad days” was coined in Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra,” while Cleopatra was regretting something of her youth, or salad days, as it was put.

When I heard the phrase, I knew I would appreciate it forever; Cleopatra’s usage was the icing on the cake.

Tim and I discussed a phrase last week while we prepared for a meeting, a phrase one should think about each day. Many times throughout the week I needed to follow the wisdom of this phrase and perhaps many more times throughout the week when I wanted to hand this wisdom out. And, as it most often happens, I found myself constantly reminded of my new favorite Phrase of the Week.

The greatest reminder of my favorite Phrase of the Week came at the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce annual banquet. What a wonderful event. Great friends. Great food. Great awards.

Congratulations to Rhodette Groe, Volunteer of the Year. Congratulations to Jonathan Murray, Ambassador of the Year. Congratulations to Fisher’s Fine Jewelers, Small Business of the Year. Congratulations to Country Inn & Suites, Medium Business of the Year. Congratulations to Dave Syverson Auto Center, Large Business of the Year.

To top the evening off, we were honored with the speaking’s of Dr. Lyman K. (Manny) Steil, who reminded me of my Phrase of the Week.

Among Steil’s many credentials, he has written an award-winning book, “Listening Leaders: The Ten Golden Rules to Listen, Lead & Succeed.”

He has led efforts to enhance advanced listening throughout the world. He touts that outstanding listeners thrive whereas poor listeners barely survive. He is internationally known as the Ambassador of Listening. Steil is the CEO and chairman of Communication Development Inc. and chairman of many more alliances.

Perhaps most importantly, Steil is a 1956 graduate of Albert Lea Central High School. He is the recipient of the Education Foundation of Albert Lea’s Distinguished Alumni Award. He is the creator of the LeRoy Maas Wrestling Scholarship, which has provided more than 50 scholarships to Albert Lea High School graduates. He crafted the Million Dollar Albert Lea Endowed Scholarship Challenge, which has raised more than $500,000 and created the 50-year class legacy project at Albert Lea High School: Inspiration & Ponder Point.

Steil was inspirational to listen to. I learned much about the kind of leader I want to be. He pointed out that when you talk you only learn what you already know; when you listen you learn something new. His business card states: listen, lead and succeed.

So what was it that Engstrom and I discussed last week to invoke the wisdom of Steil? What did you miss at the chamber banquet? What do you need to know from Steil?

Simply put from the Greek Philosopher, Epictetus; “We have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak.”


Crystal Miller is the publisher of the Albert Lea Tribune.