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Posts Tagged With: corporate

Travel, change and solace

Readying for another road trip later today, I thought about how much things have changed over the years:

  • Remember paper maps?  Maps that unfolded with landmarks and highway intersections?  You’d need a companion to help navigate. Now – I rely on an iPhone or car navigation system.  I prefer the phone because one can listen for upcoming turns and still enjoy the radio.  My car system talks over the radio and I end up missing sing-along opportunities, political updates, and advice from Dr. Laura. 🙂

  • Packing for an overnight requires just as much effort as packing for four.  Vitamins, hair stuff, makeup, jewelry, pajamas/robe, in-room clothes, work clothes, travel clothes, computer, portfolio, shoes, phone charger and more.    And coffee, don’t forget the coffee.

  • I don’t sleep well in hotels.  Part of my packing routine involves a good book and essential oils; most times, I average 4 hours of flipping & flopping vs. the 7 solid Zs at home.

  • As much work as it is, I still enjoy going.  Meeting new people and getting out of my comfort zone.   Example, tomorrow I’m one of several giving a presentation to company peers and executives.  Now I make presentations on a regular basis but usually before total strangers.  Peers are far more daunting.  So I do what I always have:  prepare, know my stuff, and nail it!  (And a little self pep-talk never hurts.)

  • And as much as I love the going, the coming home is even better.  🙂

“Home is where you go to find solace from the ever changing chaos, to find love within the confines of a heartless world, and to be reminded that no matter how far you wander, there will always be something waiting when you return.”  – Kendal Rob

 

What do you enjoy about the going?   What do you never travel without?

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Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, fear, Fun, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Men, Personal, Thoughts, Travel, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

The right side of the gate

rodeo clown

When I was a girl I often helped Dad outside in the barnyard. In fact, I’d choose nearly any chore over chores inside.  Mucking stalls, loading bales, hauling chop (chopped oats), you name it.  I’d happily hop in the truck with Dad and run an errand, too: pick up a load of hay, drop off a steer, etc.  Plus, riding with Dad had its bonuses, namely you ride with the Candy Man you get some candy, man!  🙂

Flash forward to my corporate life today: I’m inside a lot, but I take the opportunity to get out “in the field” and in front of people as much as possible.  There’s only so many spreadsheets a girl can take.  I can create and run pivot tables, populate Power Point, yada yada yada, but, as I’ve blogged about before, sometimes you just have to put yourself out there and experience things head on.

A situation has been brewing that I’ve been managing and monitoring; I’ve pulled in local leaders and they understand the scenario.  Getting our corporate team’s attention isn’t always as easy, however.  Not for any other reason than what’s concerning me isn’t blowing up their backyard, it’s blowing up mine.

On a conference call with two lawyers the other day, I sensed they weren’t getting it.  So I brought up my Dad.  I explained that I’d learned a lot about the work I do by observing him as a Rural Municipal rep. He navigated political situations adeptly, he was a good listener, and his quiet charm and gentle approach served him well.  As a girl I tagged along to his meetings, making sure the coffee was fresh and the literature was straight.  I watched and learned as he listened to others’ concerns.

Further, I explained there were certain times when Dad would enlist all 5 of us kids for help – working cattle.  And one of his life lessons was to ensure we were always on the “right side of the gate.”  I shared his words, “If the bull’s out, you want to be in. If the bull’s in, you want to be out.”  Using this analogy, I related that I recently I’d felt like I was in the chute with a frothy mob of bulls bearing down on me and that it was up to the company to give me support as I vaulted up and over to the right side of the gate.  When I added that lately I’d felt like a “rodeo clown,”  they laughed and I felt Dad with me.

Me and those attorneys?  They get it, we formulated a plan and I am once again on the right side of the gate.

100_3119

Oh you could put yourself between her and her babies, but I wouldn’t advise it. An Emjayandthem(C) photo

 

Can you relate to this story? Have you ever found yourself on the “wrong side of the gate?”   What childhood life lesson applies to your work life today?

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Confidence at any age, Elections, Faith, Family, Growth, Home, Life Lessons, Self Discovery, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Xnay to the Reach Out

It started earlier this year and peaked in summer.

A saying had crept into emails, conversations and conference calls.  Crept in like some kind of invasive species being harbored by the innocent.

“I’ll reach out.”  “We reached out.” “Let’s reach out.”

One crazily busy day I took notes and counted 20 occurrences … before noon.  I shuddered … we were in deep.

Conference calls were especially prone to it. Example

Call Leader Q: “What’s the status on X?

Someone, anyone A: “We’ve reached out to (any name/any department) but there’s no update available at this time.”

Call Leader Q: “What are your next steps?

Someone, anyone A: “We/I will  reach out again then we’ll reach back to you with an update.”

“Reach out.”

It officially had become the catch phrase for saying you’d done nothing at all.

It was the new cover.

Think about it .. it sounds so gentle that no one’s ever going to challenge it.  Let alone .. follow-up on it.

Oh good gravy.

It’s overdone, misused and now .. meaningless.

The funniest instance happened during a regularly scheduled call at a regularly scheduled time with regularly scheduled participants and a regular percentage therein who  regularly … were never heard from.

One such person was called upon.

A scuffling of papers and scraping sounds ensued.

The reply, “Uh .. sorry I was multi-tasking, could you repeat the question?”  Followed by a mumbled promise to reach out.

I reached out to ensure the phone’s mute button was fully engaged before I LOST it.  Lost it.  Laughed so hard I cried.  In my office. Pounding my desk.  Feeling like the only sane person in the asylum.   That’s when I knew I had to do something.  I couldn’t trust myself not to blurt out “Oh good gravy” on a call.

I paid attention to my words.

I steadfastly avoided the term.

I shared my feelings with my team and challenged all of us to use action words that actually meant something.  Words like: called, wrote, stopped by, checked in on, held a meeting with, followed up with, etc.  And, I also made sure everyone knew that if they were called upon and found they’d missed a step, they could admit it and we’d could go on.   The last thing I wanted was a team giving me mumbled promises about reaching out.

It’s taken time but there’s been a shift. Or maybe I’m desensitized. Not sure.

By all means reach out – but can we save it for charity, compassion, kindness, and … the Four Tops?

 

What particular office vernacular makes you cringe?  How are you at “touching base,” developing “synergies,” picking “low hanging fruit,” and “brainstorming?”

 

 

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Growth, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal, Thoughts, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

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