Monday, August 4, 2008

August 4, 2008 - Making it Count

Hey there, hi there and hello there to all of the wonderful people. A special hello goes out to auntie Karen for her bday tomorrow, hope the school year starts off well for you! O, and I want to give a shout out to my bro (who is now a famous person on radio). Sounds like you and ma had a great time at the volunteer camp, I can't wait to get that going down here.

Wow, a year under the belt in the real world ... someone must've told my boss because it was the craziest week yet:) We are right in the midst of business planning season as I said last week, but numerous 2-3 hour going-over-profile-plan meetings was somewhat ridiculous! The boss man also asked if I could take a shot at putting together the new SIFE analyst rotation, so after meeting with some folks I think I've got a pretty good one set for Alisha. O yes, and in addition to the planning (which is quite interesting and beneficial even though at times ridiculous) I have become the point of contact for Aflac Online Services ... whew. Let's just say that I've learned more about myself and my leadership style over the last couple of weeks. I've coined a new phrase for what I'm doing now, it's called the SIFE Analyst Undercover Leadership program where I get to do the thing I love (lead a team) but have to do it undercover so as to not let HR know;) Today was a great day at work as I had to bust out serious Nate, whom doesn't make an appearance that often, but it's time for the team to start gittin' ir done and they were very receptive ... I'll let you know how it goes in the weeks to come!

I had a few great experiences outside of work as well this week. On Friday, there were about 50 people helping out the ol' Literacy Alliance with our Dictionary Project. We tagged and bagged over 3,000 dictionaries for all of the 3rd graders in Muscogee County! Earlier in the week, I was able to take part in our Evening Enunciators Toastmasters Humorous Speech contest. After brainstorming and writing the night before, I was able to practice a couple of times on my way to work and of the three contestants ... "My Hiney Hurts" a story about running with the bulls, pulled off the victory:) Next is the area contest where I'll compete against 3 other folks from other clubs, so it should be a good time!

The ultimate this past week though was my trip over the weekend to Indianapolis. (This would be the reason that my blog is late). I've mentioned a couple of times about this Making it Count organization and this was the weekend that it all came to fruition. There were around 100 people from across the country that all came together for a training conference. We had people from Georgia, Texas, Cali, Boston, Wisconsin and many more that converged on the Adam's Mark for an intense certification weekend. When we arrived Saturday morning we got together to learn about what an amazing organization Making it Count really is. As a subsidiary of, they provide true Educainment (education + entertainment) and motivational speeches to students from 9th grade and through college. It focuses mainly and the choices that students get to make throughout their schooling and what options are available to them. They're amazingly interactive presentations that are free to schools because of corporate sponsorships and the quality of speakers are amazing. I was in a room with people that spoke for a living, did training sessions, wrote books and taught college courses ... pretty interesting folks. It was like having a Type A conference where every person was a high-achieving-over-the-top-smiling ball of energy ... I was like a kid in the candy store. I know it's hard to believe, but even I had to take the back seat to some folks' antics ... although I did bust out a pretty sweet Cupid Shuffle that no one was expecting from the white boy from Iowa ... go Shueyville! We had to get certified on the presentation based on our knowledge of the script (14 pages of memorized material) and our style of speaking. Throughout the weekend we were in groups of 5 or so and we would just get up and speak out different segments of the material for numerous judges. There were some absolutely amazing trainers/speakers there that helped me out a great deal, thanks! I met some of the craziest people that I could see being great friends with for years to come. Sunday morning bright and early was our certification time and I'm feeling pretty positive that I nailed it. I won't find out for a couple of days whether or not I did as they compile all of the notes from the weekend. Of the 2,000 video submissions, they only have 200 speakers that are independently contracted each year and historically, 75% of the fresh-meat certify the first time. So even if I didn't, it's still an honor. Assuming I did, they'll send me to high schools around the area and actually pay me to speak to them about getting involved and choices ... who ever thought you could get paid for something like that? Some of the trainers are certified in almost all 8 of the programs and would do 75-100 presentations every semester! Let's just say, I'm pretty sure I don't have that much PTO left but I hope to get a few at least. I dunno, it sounded really interesting and the training was excellent ... this could open up the door to a whole new world of possibilities down the road ... only time will tell.
Well I suppose that's enough for Monday night, but I'd like to leave you with one final thought from my buddy Lee Iacocca, "You don't get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waitin for somebody else to take action." Get out there and git ir done:)
PS, Jenny says hi;)
PSS, Happy birthday Jenny, now I can say that I'm dating someone my age and not robbing the cradle!

No comments: