My Thursday

My Thursday

My Thursday started with a longer than normal commute down the turnpike courtesy of a wreck and some rain.  It is a proven fact that rain will jack up your commute.  Oh and it did! It jacked up my commute both coming and going today.   The sad, sorry fact is that it isn’t even snow bird season yet, so traffic is only going to get worse!  By the time I got to work, I was feeling beat up.  Obviously, it was a namaste in bed kind of day and I got the memo too late.

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Nevertheless, I grabbed my Dunkin’ and headed to work.  Thank God for coffee and the many hilarious memes popping in on a fantastic group chat.  These definitely brightened my Thursday.   I can’t say that every meeting was awesome sauce today, but I had a few their complete gems.  I’ve been a director for quite awhile, but seeing people develop and come into their own never gets old.  I freaking love it.  I can’t even express how happy it makes me feel.

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Over the lunch hour, we threw an impromptu birthday party in a team meeting for one of our very tenured employees.  When I first started in my current department, this person took me and my colleagues under his wings.  He made sure we understood the process and helped us in anyway he could.  Today we celebrated him and he was blown away.  Afterwards, you could see how much he appreciated the gesture.  Above all, it was a poignant reminder of how important it is to make sure your employees feel that they are important to you and appreciated.

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One of my last meetings of the day was invigoratingUn.  I love finding ways to make organizations better through collaboration and teamwork across departments.  Who needs silos anyway? Am I right?  At any rate, I look forward to seeing how the fruits of our labors can make a difference.

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On the home front, my brother sent a picture to the group text of the Mayorworking on the car at my folk’s house in Minny.  I can’t believe how young he looks in the picture and how old he is now! Unquestionably, I’m not ready for the boys to grow up.   The fact that my youngest is in middle school in mind blowing.   Undeniably, I would really appreciate if someone could figure out how to slow down time.  It is going far too fast for me.  Moreover, I know I’m not alone here.

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I’m a mere 8 years from kids being out of the house.  I know it sounds like a long time, but I also thought 18 years was an eternity.  Turns out it’s not.  Jake is now 18 years old and the hubby and I still can’t figure out where the time went.  It’s seriously profane how quickly the time has gone.  It seems like it was just yesterday, I was a kid watching Madonna on MTV and choreographing awesome routines to her songs.  Now she’s oldest to carry an AARP card and I’m old enough to have a kid in college.    #mindblown  In honor of today’s daily prompt, enjoy Madonna’s Express Yourself music video.

 

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Glorious

There is something glorious about a beautiful sunset.  As I left work tonight, at peace with the past couple of weeks, I gazed upon the beautiful Florida sunset.  Albeit there are a lot of things wrong with Florida, but one thing that is oh so right is the sunsets.  Peppered by a bevy of beautiful white fluffy clouds, the red rays of the sun began to set slowly to the west as thunder and lightning rolled in over the coast to the east.  I mean you have to love Florida.  A thunderstorm out one window and world class glorious sunset out the other.  Since I was driving, I was unable to snap a shot of the sunset.  Consequently, I’ll add a picture of the sunset in Flam, Norway.

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Today was glorious because it was a gift.  I have to borrow this from my cousin Jessica, who started this as a daily reminder at the beginning of 2016.  A simple daily reminder of a profound truth.   Jessica has been a poignant reminder of how each day is a gift as she went through breast cancer treatments over the past year.   Fortunately, we were able to see Jessica and her family this summer in Norway.  My boys were overjoyed to meet her son Kai and spend some quality time with him.  Time with family near and far is a glorious gift that no amount of money can replace.

I had a brilliant conversation with a co-worker today about the Oscar Wilde quote on my Live Inspired tee and what it means.  Our conversation about this beautiful Oscar Wilde quote is how the meaning of this quote morphs with you are your progress through the stages of life.  In some sense, she’s completely right.  What defines a life well lived is dependent on the stage of your life.

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Since our youth, we are preconditioned to acquire stuff.  For example things like:  the big house, the big paycheck, the big title and all the fancy goods.  In the end, however, that is not what matters.  Importantly, what matters is the experiences we share with the people we love.  As much as we’d love to, you can’t bring your Louboutins or all that paper with you when you die.

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It reminded me of how truly lucky I was to have Debbie in my life.  I truly believe that God brings people into our lives for a reason, although I cannot yet understand why he tears them away from us.  Debbie taught me, and I think others would agree, a lot about what it means to live a life well lived.  Whenever I have a rough day, I think about her and want to slap myself silly.  I think about how graceful, how kind, how happy and how much she was throughout her battle.  She traveled the globe and the country with her family making beautiful memories.  Even on her worst day, you wouldn’t have know it.  She is and will forever be my hero.

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Another glorious conversation I had confirmed convictions I have long held about someone.  At this point in our lives, there are many experiences that we bring to the collective table.    Sometimes in understanding  those experiences, we can better understand our people and their concerns.  I’m lucky that I can speak honestly and candidly at work without fear.  This person is exactly who I thought he was and one the main reasons I cherish my current career.  Leadership is about making the world a better place.

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Fabulous Friday

Fabulous Friday

TGIF!  Today is fabulous Friday!  This week has felt incredibly long despite being a short week due to the hurricane.  Irmageddon put a lot of strain on all of us with the planning and preparing we had to do for our families and for work.  Perhaps this is why we all felt so utterly exhausted today.

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I’ve been quite productive this week even though it  has been a short an painful week.  Each and every day we have a choice how we respond to our circumstances..  I choose to say F*#C you to those who seek to marginalize others.  As beaten up as I felt physically, the choice has become clear.  Leaders have an obligation, through good and especially through bad, to find the light at the end of the tunnel.  Leaders have the obligation to be both the beacon of hope and the agent of change.  Bound together by a common passion and drive to be the best we can, the group of leaders I have surrounded myself with is amazing.  We will change the world for the better, so you best be ready.

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The downside in all of this productivity is that I completely missed lunch.  A complete and total travesty since I had actually remembered to pack my yummy, vegan protein shake.  No, its not an oxymoron. Its actually quite flavorful, low calorie and does not contain soy or other allergens.  I love my Zumba Shake Shake Shake (Lorbach10 is my affiliate code if you’re interested.)  By the time I realized I had missed lunch, it was 5:00 pm.  I headed home and grabbed some provolone cheese to fuel my run.

 

FullSizeR (11)Piggie and I ran 3 miles, which felt fantastic.  Nothing clears your head better than a nice run with your bestie.  The sky was amazing tonight with nary a cloud in the sky and a big, full setting sun.  Florida’s skies are thing of beauty.   Its been a rough week getting back into running outdoors.  The heat makes it tough to run, but it feels remarkable to be back on the trail outside.  There’s nothing better than running with my puppys’, to remove the stress of the work day.  Since I had such an amazing lunch, I’m treating myself to some Sushi Yama tonight.  Talk about flavorful!

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Strength in Solidarity

When life give us lemons, not only should we make lemon drop martinis, but we should find strength in solidarity.  Alan had his Wolf Pack in the Hangover.  These boys were his ride and die crew.   Subsequently, we too should have our own wolf pack at work and at home.  Unfortunately, my work life isn’t quite as exciting as the Wolf Pack’s night in Vegas or their escapade in Thailand.  Nevertheless, I quite enjoy what I do and work with some truly amazing people.

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At the end of the day, people support those who are professional, who treat them well and are genuine.  People memorize how you treat them.  While they may not remember anything else about you, but they will remember how you treated them.  Specifically,  no matter what you say or what you do, if you treat people poorly that is what they will remember.

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Unfortunately, things don’t go always go in the linear fashion that you want.   The goal post seemingly keeps moving.  Where it seemed it was 4th and inches one day.  The next day you find yourself in a 4th and 26 situation seemingly all alone.  Sadly, it starts to feel that crossing the goal line is not achievable. Unequivocally, it is a very lonely place to be. All of the sudden, you’re not alone.  As a consequence of a great team, your wolf pack, standing behind you 4th and 26 situation is no longer impossible.  It is a game changer. 

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In actuality, these are times you see people’s true colors.  Unequivocally, these are the times that you are amazed by the overwhelming support, leadership, fellowship and friendship that surrounds you.  These beautiful people become the rainbow to your cloud.  Undoubtedly, they become the reminder of why you love your job.  To all my rainbows, and there are many, I cannot thank you enough.  In the words of esteemed poet Maya Angelou, “nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”  2847-Maya-Angelou-Quote-Nothing-can-dim-the-light-which-shines-from

 

Mr. Kite

Mr. Kite

“For the benefit of Mr. Kite
There will be a show tonight on trampoline”
– John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Admittedly, I’m enamored with the boys from Liverpool.  I couldn’t resist the Mr. Kite reference especially given the amazing Churchill quote I’m using tonight.  Last night I wrote about how my previous experiences with an awful boss informed how I lead my teams.  Tonight, I want to expand upon last night’s post.

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First, the Thunder Thief  is by far the most damaging and insidious type of horrible boss one can come across.  Equally important is the consideration that the thunder thief’s actions are not always deliberate.  As a leader, we must ensure we empower our people to tackle projects, accomplish goals with our support, but with autonomy.  It is equally important that the accomplishments of our direct reports are shared with our leaders.

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 There is nothing more demotivating than realizing that all of your hard work has been attributed to somebody else.  For women in the workplace, this is exponentially complex. According to HBR, women must promote their accomplishments in order to be recognized.  Ironically, self-promotion is consider unladylike and women who negotiate on their own our penalized.  Sheryl Sandberg also wrote about this phenomena in her best-selling book Lean In.

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One of the buzz words your see thrown out  way too often lately  in politics or the workplace is optics.  Here’s the thing about optics, they’re far more important than we realize.  Optics are all about how people perceive and action or event.  At the end of the day, perception is reality.  For example, let’s say you strive to have a diverse team, but your senior leadership team is only male or only white.  Consequently, you have create the perception that there is no commitment to diversity.

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Finally, do not forget that things come out in the wash.   Maybe today wasn’t your day, but ultimately the creme will rise to the top.  As Churchill so eloquently said, “Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it.”  The road to success will not always be free of bumps or free of jerks, but perseverance, hard work, honesty and quality of work will ultimately prevail.

Solitary Places

“Orlando naturally loved solitary places, vast views and to feel himself for ever and ever and ever alone.” – Virgina Woolf.

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We’re not always comfortable enough in our own skin to be by ourselves.  There is real value, however, in learning to be comfortable in our solitude.  I have found as I get older solitude has become more comfortable and more natural.   When I was younger, I hated being alone.

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Albert Einstein, one of the world’s most brilliant minds, left us some nuggets of genius on the topic. He recognize the challenge of solitude when we are young.  Especially in our school years, solitude can be quite painful.  As we get older, we realize how important it is for us.  Consequently, he also commented on how man in general is at one and the same time both a solitary being and a social being.  Every day depending on how much coffee I’ve had, I vacillate between the two.  The more coffee I’ve had, the more social I am.  Some would say, when I have coffee in hand, I glow.

 

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As a mother of three kids, finding solitude has become akin to finding the holy grail. Silent contemplation is a gift of my daily commute into Broward.  Set against the backdrop of an eclectic mix of music, I look forward to my 35 minutes of solitude.   Of course a happy and productive life needs a mix of solitude and togetherness.  One can’t find happiness in either extreme.

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