Cool Summer Fun

Wahooooo Wednesday!

It’s Hump Day! How are you doing?

We’re nearly done with July and roaring into busy-busy-busy August, with move season, back to school and last minute vacations. On top of everything else, the temps are making us all overheat. What’s a body to do? Grab a cold drink and think icy thoughts, of course.😉 Or maybe you take a trip in the way-back machine and remember fun in the sprinklers with Wham-O’s Slip and Slide. Hard to believe this toy is still around but it was being advertised in 2015, with some additional features like blow-up ends, to minimize injuries.

I hope this ad helps you remember being a kid, when fun was as simple as a hose and a long piece of plastic. I also hope this reduces some of the stress in your day and the tension in your head-neck-shoulder-back-you get the idea😀

backyard summer fun

Have a great Wednesday!

Caryn

We Are the Light That Never Fails

Good morning and Happy Friday!

I’ve been traveling and had intended to share an upbeat summer tune to help us wrap up the week. However, it’s another somber morning and I find it hard to just jump into something joyful while watching the aftermath of last night’s event in Nice, France. How about we start with Andra Day’s The Light That Never Fails… a beautiful song to inspire hope. It’s not our usual Friday fare, instead use it to think of others who need us.

Light that never fails.png

Now, for something to get you moving on this summer morning, John Mellencamp & Me’Shell Ndegeocello’s Wild Nights. They look like they’re having fun together and it has a great bass line, one that will stick with you all day. You’re welcome.  ;)

May you find some joy this weekend, be the light that never fails and we’ll see you next week!

Caryn

Sun Behind the Clouds

Good Morning – it’s been a somber, sad, heartbreaking time as we watched this week unfold. I normally want to motivate us all on Friday to dig deep and find a burst of energy for the last day of the work week. Instead, I can’t help but take a moment as we witness the latest violence with heavy hearts.

Sun behind the clouds

Please join me in reflection:

Do we all want to live full lives, enjoying our freedoms, including to drive without fear of dying as the result of a broken taillight or forgotten turn signal?

Do we want to raise our children to have long, happy, passionate lives?

Do we want to teach them that hate is the answer to awful things?

Or do we want to find ways to bridge our differences and enjoy the rich, colorful, inspiring tapestry of a diverse nation?

I choose to believe that we are inherently good.

I choose to believe that the sun shines no matter that the clouds that obscure it.

I choose to believe that we can have better lives because we are different from each other.

I choose to believe that we are better than this ugliness indicates.

I choose to believe we can make a difference.

What do you choose?

 

Music soothes the savage beast – let’s find a little inspiration to give us hope this morning.

The Staple Singers I’ll Take You There addresses the ugliness in a I-can-make-a-difference style.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s Homeless is such a beautiful song, it outshines the ugliness.

Van Morrison’s Into the Mystic is timeless poetry.

The Dixie Chick’s cover of Landslide combines their glorious harmony with Stevie Nicks’s lyrics about rising above.

 

May you have a glorious weekend,

May you find time to hug your loved ones,

May you see the sun behind the clouds and

May you find hope that we will all rise above.

Caryn

Get Back on the Bike

Good morning!

Are you ready for Monday? It’s the last week of 2Q and the midpoint for 2016 – can you believe it??? The year is half over!!

We live and work at a fast pace; I’m sure you know about the pressure to keep up and also get it right, day in and day out. How do you balance the two – faster, faster, faster versus accuracy, rigor and sureness?

if we wait until we're ready

That wise sage, Lemony Snicket, said it well, “If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting the rest of our lives.” Isn’t that the truth? Taking too long to get something done is often the same as doing nothing. Yet, we often take more time, not less, to make decisions. Why is it so difficult to move faster? My bet is most folks would say the risk of not getting it right makes them cautious, sometimes overly so. Reality bites. Failing isn’t fun but it’s also completely normal because real life is full of failures and recoveries. If we only worry about the failures, we miss the opportunities, don’t we?

daring adventure HK

One way of taking the sting out of failures is to talk about them. By hiding them away, or hoping folks don’t see them, we make them bigger than they really are. Instead, how about we talk about our failures, big and small, and also what we learned from them? Let’s think about them just enough to put them in context and then put them aside.

I’ll get you started, here’s a random list of my failures:

  1. Didn’t make it into Stanford.
  2. Had to withdraw a tariff filing.
  3. Called someone by the wrong name on multiple conference calls.
  4. Didn’t pass an undergrad biology class.
  5. Fell off my bike. Repeatedly. While standing still. In front of a bunch of other riders, some of whom I worked with. Pfffft.

Now here’s that same list with the other half of the story:

  1. Graduated from UC Berkeley.
  2. Fixed the tariff and refiled it.
  3. Apologized.
  4. Took the class again and passed. Graduated summa cum laude from two graduate programs.
  5. Got back on the dang bike and pedaled.  Crossed the finish line of the Hotter Than Hell. Whoot!

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I’m ok with my failures. I’m even better with the other half of the story. How about you?Does thinking about your failures and putting them in perspective make it easier for you to take a risk? I hope so. I hope they inspire you to keep trying!

Have a great week, let’s wrap the month, the quarter, the first half of 2016 STRONG!

Caryn

Viral

GM, it’s Wednesday!

Why do some things go viral while others don’t? IMO, it’s because the viral item catches our attention, holds it and fulfills a need or want. It makes us feel something. What do you feel when you see this Jeep ad, 4x4ever? Sure, some of you couldn’t care less about offroading and you might even see 4x4s as gas guzzlers (sorry to be a Debbie Downer…). Take a listen to the ad, though, and see if the song doesn’t pull you in anyway. There’s also Matt Dorr’s full length version of the song. I’m not even slightly rugged and it makes me want to get up and go somewhere “’cause I like to fly free”.

jeeping

Bring Out the Best

Welp, it’s Monday! Are ya ready??? I hope so, ready or not, here we come!

Y’all have heard me talk about bringing out the best in each other, right? This means that we look for the best in each other, we accept each other and we find ways to be better together. Last week I read about this philosophy in action.

Some of my team has had the privilege to work with Clearlink. They are a very successful sales company and I believe it’s because of their inclusive culture; their mantra is ‘create and maintain valuable relationships’. Named One of the Best Places to Work by Outside magazine (2013), Clearlink’s vibe is so strong that you can feel the energy every time you step in the door.

Recently, Jordan Jarvis, one of Clearlink’s sales managers, posted Losing Everything to Find Myself, a story about his personal struggles and journey to overcome them. In it, he talks about Aaron Hansen, VP of Sales and how Aaron invested in him. Instead of seeing Jordan’s struggles, Aaron saw Jordan’s opportunities and gave him room to grow into them. If you’ve worked with Clearlink, you’ve witnessed their positive approach. Many of us have been lucky enough to witness this firsthand. Whoot!

Winner loser one more time

Do you have someone who has done the same, who has invested in you? Do you do this for someone? Jordan’s story reminds me of one of my favorite books – Leadership and the Art of Self Deception: Getting Out of the Box. It’s all about expecting folks to succeed and not assuming they’ll fail. It’s a great read if you want to explore relationship building. If you want some concrete steps to bringing out the best in each other, Fast Company’s Six Habits of People Who Know How to Bring Out the Best in Others is a good read.

Make the week great!

Caryn

Always Trust Your Cape

Congrats, you made it through another week!

On Monday, we said goodbye to a number of folks at work – some who have been with the company for 40 years. Today we say goodbye to a long time teammate, John Devenney. He’s going on an awesome vacation before moving to new adventures and I cannot wait to see his photos as he explores the world.

Bittersweet is the best word I can find for saying goodbye – we hate to see someone go but we also know they’re going to have a great adventure.

In honor of all those who are moving on, here’s one of my favorite Guy Clark songs, The Cape. He has such a way with lyrics –

He’s one of those

Who knows

Life is just a leap of faith

Spread your arms

An’ hold your breath

And always trust your cape.

… He did not know he could not fly

And so he did.

 

Isn’t that the message every parent should give their kid, every one of us should give each other? The cape is a great metaphor for trusting your ability to take risks.

kid cape

If you need a little more inspiration to get you through a bittersweet week – How about Rusted Root’s Send Me On My Way or Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now (this version with Adam Lambert, playful and all about the crowd). I’ve got these on my Friday playlist for a reason – upbeat, energizing and inspiring – what’s on your playlist today?

To all of our friends leaving the business – ciao, adieu, adios, auf wiedersehen, au revoir, until we meet again, Godspeed!

Caryn