Amy Rees Anderson

“Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.”

There is little that I enjoy more than spending quality time with a group of great friends.  Today I went to the BYU Founders Board Meeting (Brigham Young University board I serve on).  It was a great meeting and I truly joy serving with such amazing board members.  All are highly successful people who place integrity and service at the top of their priority list and I have tremendous respect for each of them.  Following the board meeting I was a “shark” on their version of a Shark Tank business competition.  The students presented their companies and the founders were the sharks.  I was really impressed and proud of the students.  They handled the grilling we gave them exceptionally well today and I am certain that every one of them is going to go on to do incredible things in their careers.

Finally we ended the program with a fabulous dinner where everyone’s spouses joined in.  The best part of the dinner was the keynote speech given by Barry Smith, CEO of Magellan Health Services, and a fellow Board Member.  Barry gave an amazing talk in which he shared some suggestions on how to be a great leader.  I agreed wholeheartedly with his comments and it is obvious that he is a fantastic leader.  He understands the importance of valuing his employees, giving them honest and open communication as well as feedback, and the importance of appreciating your employees for the good work they do.  He spoke of everything from the importance of having employees live by the values of the organization, to the importance of spending plenty of time away from work to be with your loved ones.  I wish I could have recorded it to share with all of you because everyone could learn a tremendous amount from the words he shared tonight.

As much as I loved the board meeting today, the part I loved the most was what happened after the dinner.  A large group of couples from the Founders Board got together to have a Rook tournament.  Rook is a card game for those who are not familiar with it.  All of the couples play in groups of four (two couples) at each table and as each round is completed you rotate up a table or down a table based on which of the two couples won that game, so you are constantly getting to interact and compete with each of the different couples in the group.  To get a full picture of our group tonight you have to know that within each married couple, at least of them is a successful entrepreneur or CEO  of very successful companies, which means that at least one half of each couples is a highly competitive, type A personality.    Now try to imagine that in this group of 24 people, 12 are ridiculously competitive and the other 12 are highly competitive…so yeah, everyone is competitive (in a healthy way).  Oh, and to add to the fun they are all husband and wife teams, so you have the fun married dynamic going on as well…it was the perfect recipe for the most fun evening ever!  The smack talking had begun before the dinner was even over, and it was on like Donkey Kong :).   Playing cards with this group of good friends and great people, laughing hysterically at everyone smack talking and teasing one another, oh, and we can’t forget the booty shake dance that had to be done every time we won a round…all of those made for an absolutely perfect evening.  It was so much fun and so many good memories were made that we will remember for years to come.

Tonight was a good reminder that there is little in life that is better than spending time having good clean laughter and fun with a group of quality people that you love and respect.  All of us need to do that more often.  So this weekend get the people you love together and whip out the Rook cards and have yourselves a tournament…oh, and don’t forget to do the booty shake when you win the round 🙂

Have a great weekend everyone!!!


1 Comment

  • Rich says:

    I enjoyed hearing the questions that you and other “sharks” threw at the students in the Shark Tank. I agree that the students did a great job.

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