A Little Enthusiasm…

…goes a long way.

I love my work, and as a result, I love getting paid. And today the boot is on the other foot, I’m paying bills and stuff this morning. I told you this gig was pure rock n roll huh.

A lot of these transactions have been over the phone. I say transactions quite deliberately because in the main, my approaches to the companies and people I owe money have been met with a lack of interest, a sense of…emptiness.

I’m phoning – to pay you money. You aren’t having to chase me, I believe in what goes around comes around and I’m a full member of the pay it quick club. I don’t expect you to let of fireworks and call a public holiday just because some guy has chosen to pay promptly – but a vague hint of life from the other end of the phone would go a long way.

A notable exception is my local bike shop who today have most cheerily accepted the money I owe them for repairs and servicing on my mountain bike. I like that.

To the rest of the miseries I spoke to – have a nice day. Nahh, I’m kidding, if taking my money is that dull and lifeless, go and get another job.

photo credit

United State of Mind

I’m well and truly back from the USA. The jet lag has passed, the laundry is done and I’m rapidly back to speaking English English not American English (pants, chips, taxis – you get the picture). And a few things remain powerfully uppermost in my mind about the trip.

The Flag

Stars and Stripes

The Stars and Stripes is everywhere. To me it represents a powerful symbol for integrating the difference without losing it. I like seeing the national flag about the place, and I hope the UK continues it’s renewed interest in flags beyond the Jubilee celebrations and particularly the Olympics and Paralympics. I’m stuck on the whole republic/monarchy thing. I’m not a fan of the royal family per se, and nor do I want President Blair/Brown/Cameron/Clegg or whoever for that matter. But the flag can and should be about the people, and I think it was great to see it flying everywhere here through our sporting summer. Long may that continue – fly your flag.

The Welcome

Being on the road is great fun, and at the same time being away from your family sucks. Being made to feel so very welcome by so many people (and the pic above could have been soooooo much bigger), was fantastic. It felt so natural and it meant so much.

The Enthusiasm

People warned me about this. Those Americans – they’re so bloody enthusiastic! Actually it was said in a good way but I was left flying over to the US wondering how this enthusiasm thing would play out. What I experienced was probably closer to willingness, being more open to possibilities. As with everything you find a balance that hopefully suits you and I am an optimist by nature, but I’ve come back from America thinking even more determinedly about the yes than the no.

Video Diary

Because we like to take thing in in different ways I’m closing this post with a visual summary of my experience. I hope you’ll take a look, it clocks in at around 30 seconds so it’s not your usual post trip slideshow bonanza. And it has a rocking soundtrack.

Hot off the Press

I’m very excited to find out that in April 2013 I’m off to Louisiana to take part in their annual state HR conference. More on this soon.

Dreams of Children

Bring Your Children to Work Day

“50 per cent of people here lose their hair”

That was just one of many very funny observations made in the Bring Your Children to Work Day board meeting yesterday! So how did it go? Here is a summary of the board discussion – where all the kids were invited to address the question “How do we make work more interesting?”

  • Succeeding
  • Having fun with colleagues
  • Seeing new people
  • Lunch
  • Payday
  • Interaction
  • Learning new things
  • Making new friends

That could be a great charter for any business eh? It’s a powerful list.

The kids were great fun. They let me know when they were bored and wanted to move on (love the honesty), and did a great job of participating and supporting one another.

Everyone made desk stands for all the mums and dads with their names, a picture and a description of what they do drawn on them*. We had a fund manager meeting and developed a new investment portfolio, and spent time on marketing and revamping some brand values too. We had a good fun trip out to observe some local history, and toured the building which gave the kids a great opportunity to showcase their work.

investment strategy
investment strategy
brand values
brand values

Several of you gave me some great tips either here on the blog and on Twitter and LinkedIn too. Thanks for helping co-create such a fun and useful day. The serious business of fun!

*On my desk stand Keira wrote “he makes work better”. I think I’ve found a new marketing director, what a slogan!

desk stand
Doug makes work better