I was going to post this yesterday but then I remembered it was Memorial Day and there is only one thing that needs to be said on Memorial Day.
There is no need to clutter up the web with my bit of smallness when we’re taking the time to deeply thank those who paid the ultimate price to ensure I can continue to write these lines and make these career changes.
I remember. I thank you.
Now my new story.
The Book is Never Really Done
I believe life is a story. A beginning. An end. A lot of stuff happening in the middle. And the stuff in the middle happens for reasons both in and outside our control. Those experiences shape us and inform our future choices. Most stories are very short – unfortunately short. Just ask those who remain after the last chapter in their loved ones’ stories. Ask them if they would have liked to have had an opportunity to read one more chapter of that person’s life. They would. I wish my father had another chapter. Same with my mother. Same with one of my best friends from high school. Everyone wants another chapter with those they love. Everyone wants their loved one’s story to continue. Mine, luckily, does.
My Next Chapter
I’ve focused the majority of my professional career on helping people influence behaviors – employee behaviors, business owner behaviors, sales people behaviors, manager behaviors. If there something a company wanted their audience to do more of (or less of) I was their guy. From communication – to training – to motivation. All the levers. All the triggers. I worked with them all. I’ve worked as an employee and as a sole proprietor of a consulting firm. Be careful what you wish for. I found I don’t like working alone. I like to work with a team of people who want to make a difference and do it while being great human beings.
For the last year, I’ve been searching for that team.
And I’m so very happy to say I’ve found it.
As of last Monday (May 23), I am a contributor to a tremendous company called Creative Group. Officially, my title is Senior Director, Solutions Architecture. Unofficially it means I’ll be designing client incentive and engagement programs and helping “level up” the recommendations to our clients. My job is to be a contributor to the great team already in place. And that is what I love to do.
Creative Group is a full-service performance improvement company specializing in driving people performance. But not at the expense of the humanness in them. The global programs and experiences Creative Group puts together focus both on customer goals AND on rewarding and inspiring people to reach their full potential.
They call it Thrivability.
And if you’ve followed any of my writings for the last 5 years or so, you know I’m big into the whole “humanizing” the organization. This is such a natural fit for me it is almost scary. I won’t go into the whole commercial here but Creative Group offers consulting and performance strategy design, sales incentives, employee recognition and engagement, behavioral analysis, measurement and reporting, and channel incentives and reward programs. We also offer group travel awards, meetings and events, as well as individual incentive options like merchandise, symbolic and custom awards. (the “full-service” moniker is well-earned.)
In other words – if you want people to start or stop doing something – and make them enjoy it – call me.
Words that Made a Difference
Because I see a lot of company mission/values statements when designing engagement strategies it is easy to be jaded by all the similarities and begin to get numb to them. But for this gig I was truly impressed by the words I was reading. And when I then saw them in action during my ongoing conversations with the team at Creative Group – I was hooked. (I couldn’t tell them too early on or I wouldn’t have gotten that G6 in the negotiations. I kid. I kid.)
Some of the words that struck me the hardest I’ve listed below – you can read more of the CG mission/values on our site.
“I choose the hard right, not the easy wrong.”
“I choose my attitude and actions.”
“I choose to push through.”
“I choose to engage with care.”
“I choose bravery.”
“I choose to dig to understand.”
What I really, really, really like about these words is that they all start with ME.
I have to choose. If I want to be a player and if I want to have an impact, I have to suit up and do it. This is so in line with my belief that engagement is a 2-way street I’d swear they’ve read my posts on it.
I am more than geeked as my friend Steve Browne says.
Not my final chapter but maybe my best? Who knows – this is history yet to be written.
Hope to see you all soon! Wish me luck!