Sunday, April 13, 2008

April 13 - Hakuna Matata

Hey there, hi there and hello there to all of you on the world wide web. Hard to imagine that 11 years ago last Thursday brother Blake arrived. Back then I was in the 6th grade and now he's almost there ... o how the time flies. Hope it was a good bday bro, wish I could be there.

This past week at the duck was easily the busiest week yet, and it was amazing! I'm still learning the ropes in Sales Support, but they've thrown me right in on some pretty cool projects. The SS&A 500 Race for the Leadership Cup is getting all squared away and should be a great opportunity to learn from some great leaders from Aflac. I've also been charged to look at some of our sales lead processes and create an elevation strategy for the field in order to take advantage of customer inquiries. I've got to learn about Field Force Ethics, the proposal process, contest administration and many other things throughout the week. Even though the Russell Building is out in the boon docks, it allows me to get quite a bit more done. I had another great mentor lunch at Fuji ... mmm delish which was coupled with two great Toastmasters meetings. After our exec meeting on Tuesday I was on the docket to speak to the group on Thursday. Since it is National Volunteer Month I utilized the opportunity to complete my 'Inspiration' speech to get people fired up about volunteering by telling them of some personal experiences including an emotional story of the work we did in New Orleans. It went over very well and a couple members even stopped me afterwards to tell me how it had got them thinking about giving back more ... very exciting:) Then on Thursday Jason, Dedra and myself had a meeting with Bob to discuss our SIFE rotation. It appears that HR took some of our suggestions to heart and is now requiring our rotations to last longer so we're able to contribute a greater deal on strategic projects, but I think they might have taken it a bit to the next level. After some small talk, we learned that all of the rotations were being cut down and there would be no more marketing, field and/or any other rotation outside of the business units we were assigned. Moreover, we learned that one of us was being taken out from Bob's rotation and put under a new VP ... drum roll please ... yup, you guessed it; it's me. So, beginning May 1st I will be working with Laree Daniel whom I met at SIFE Regional's. She is a great lady and I'm looking forward to it a great deal, especially since I will have the opportunity to work with Mike Thomas and Virgil Miller again. I will greatly miss meeting with Bob on a regular basis because he has been such a great mentor for me, but as new opportunities present themselves you've just got to put on a smile and say hakuna matata!

It was an amazing week of volunteering as well ... it coincided with the speech very well! On Tuesday, Jason and I went back to our ol' SIFE roots and worked with the Open Door Community House to put together a financial literacy lesson for a group of adults in a parenting program. It was heart-wrenching to hear some of the stories, but very promising interacting with one of them, Ted, who seemed so eager to learn about how to invest so he wouldn't end up like his friends on the street ... brought me back a bit to the ol' days. Then on Saturday Miranda, Jason, Lucia, Jenelle, Dedra and myself went back to Easter Seals for some more classroom painting. A group of high school students in a servant leadership class was there and they asked for me to talk with them a bit about servant leadership and the importance of continuing to give back to your community after high school. They're teacher has asked if I'd come back to speak to them sometime which would be a great honor. We helped out Sharon and Michael at Easter Seals by painting the kitchen in record time and finishing up on one of the apartments. Saturday night, Jason and myself helped out the Literacy Alliance create awareness about a book drive program at the Columbus Lions arena football game. After kick-off, we went inside and watched the game ... it was pretty intense and a good time. Of course, any game at the Civic Center is better with dippin' dots!

Sunday has been a wonderfully domesticated day as I continue my routine of church, grocery shopping and then back to the place to clean. I was really excited to get a new mop to clean the floor and finish up on 3 weeks worth of ironing ... wow, am I getting old or what:)?

Team En Fuego is pictured above, with Coach Hope, if anyone is wondering why it appears that I'm being covered in tp ... that was a fun team bonding experience. The rest of this month is going to fly with Vegas coming up in a week and a half and then Jenny (pronounced like Jenny in Forrest Gump) is coming to town for a little Hakuna Matata/Lion King action in the ATL.

I'll leave you with a morsel from my good buddy John Wooden, "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." I learned that sometimes in life you're going to be thrown a curve ball, but no matter what happens ... life goes on.



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