Posts Tagged ‘change’

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On the Eve of Independence

August 15, 2012

I have found myself saying, “I can’t believe how fast time has gone” more and more these past five years of being a parent. Almost to the point where I know I am annoying other people because I am annoying myself. But the truth is, it has gone fast. Tomorrow my first child… my little girl… my sweetie… is going to kindergarten.

Addi has given me the greatest gift I could have ever been given, the opportunity to be a father to a daughter. I’ve had to learn patience, how to remove a “piggy holder” without pulling hair, change a diaper, cry and not feel unmanly, love deeper than I ever have, and to understand and embrace change.

It is that last one that gets us all. It hits us deep. Our little ones aren’t so little. They aren’t so dependent. They are growing up and in a fast way.

It all hit me tonight. Maybe I internalized it, maybe I tried to avoid it, but it is here. As a parent none of us are really prepared, how could you? Until you have been through 12 weeks of sleep deprivation, spit up, mustard poop, crying (from all involved), when does the belly button fall off, and any other first time parent stresses, as a civilization we would have died off long ago if this thing came with a pre-test.

Those first 12 weeks of her life seem so distant now. She has changed, I have changed, our family has changed, our lives have changed.

Addi, I know you’ll do well, not just in kindergarten, but in life. Your sense of humor, your compassion, your competitiveness, your kind heart, your smile, will all serve you well. I have had the privilege of seeing you grow as a helpless infant into a classy and fabulous five year old who has helped her old man understand the importance and priority of things in life. You have given me an even greater love and respect for my parents, your mother, your brother, my sister, our entire family and friends, and that what we do in life means nothing, if we aren’t living for something greater than our own self.

When you get on the steps of that bus tomorrow and we wave as you head off on your next journey, don’t forget the thousands of amazing steps we have already taken in your first five years together. I only wish with every step you take, I could hold your hand, because it is so damn hard to let go.

I’m proud of you. I adore you. I love you Addi.
Dad

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When one door closes, it’s good to have the master key to the rest of the house.

January 24, 2011

I had something happen to me for the first time in my life. I was given my walking papers due to re-structuring and re-focusing at work on November 30th. For more than twelve years in the ad agency business, I was always on the other side and learned early about survivor’s guilt, making myself marketable, and staying grounded, driven, and positive.

And yet this time it got me. And it was the best thing that ever happened to me professionally. I am not embarrassed or ashamed I was let go. I’d like to think my ego hasn’t grown so much that I can’t admit the truth. I simply didn’t have a specific PR foundation and background to warrant keeping a tenured advertising guy on staff. Kudos to my former boss for recognizing he and his agency needed to change and get back to their roots. I also appreciate the way in which I was let go. They did some things for me they didn’t have to and that took the stress out of these past seven weeks, especially over the holidays.

And in there lies the one thing they didn’t intend to give me, that was the greatest gift.

I spent more than six weeks at home with my two kids, my wife when she wasn’t at work, and friends and family, all over the holiday season.

I danced with my daughter in her room to songs we didn’t know, I was there to ride through the sleepless nights as my son got his first two teeth, I was able to help be Santa with my wife, and I grew an even deeper appreciation for the countless friends and family who reached out to me with support.

And now I am happily part of the team at The Momentum Group, a small, very cool shop in Broad Ripple doing some amazing things in the branding, digital, social, and traditional advertising space. I have certainly found a home.

So as I look back on my career already, one thing always rides true. No matter what, under any circumstances, sell yourself short by changing who you are, how you conduct yourself, and not treating others with respect. Because as I have just found out, sometimes the unexpected can turn into the greatest gift.

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
Maria Robinson


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What the year 2050 will look like. And yes…I want a lightsaber.

August 5, 2010

I am pretty random and at times totally unrelated and random events get me thinking about things. (Insert joke here about the fact that I do actually think sometimes.) I was helping my best friend move back to Pennsylvania this past week and we were discussing how bad it must have stunk to move back in the Little House on the Prairie days. No wonder Chuck and the family put up with Nellie. Who the hell wanted to move?

Anyway back to modern day and running water. I kept thinking about how much technology has advanced and how change is so common it is uncommon not to see, hear, or witness change.

So let’s look back at the past 40 years.

It is hard to believe that this puts us in the 70s, my birth decade. The 70s brought us Star Wars and the lightsaber. When I was a kid that was the ultimate protection device. Almost 40 years later, still no lightsaber and I still haven’t got anything to move simply by making a face like I am horribly constipated.

The 80s brought entertainment to the home like never before. PCs took off, VHS vs. Beta, and Nintendo. Who knew that 30 years later I would get to look out of my downtown window and people watch at Gen Con Indy. I hope this year, the guy who dressed up as Link from the Legend of Zelda games wears pants over his tights.

In the 90s we made huge strides in technology. From cell phones and iPods to the Internet and email, that decade changed me forever. I remember as a freshman at Ball State in ’94, I just started to embrace this new thing called electronic mail and then four and a half years later when I graduated, my DJ skills were replaced with an iPod. My wheels of steel and vinyl where no match for a click wheel and a portable 20GB music library.

Once we got over the Y2K farce we moved into more power, more memory in less space, in less time. Speed is everything and we want to watch it, not read it. I wonder if my kids’ grandkids will have little tiny thumbs that swivel at incredible speeds. They will be able to text faster than they think, but won’t be able to peel a banana worth a damn.

So in 2050 I guess I’ll be at conference wearing tights, listening to 40TB of music on a device the size of stamp, watching young kids pick their teeth with their tiny thumbs, all while wondering why in 80 years, Apple can’t make me a simple iSaber.

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I need change… but not for parking

July 13, 2010

Change. That word. It paralyzes, it aggravates, it tests peoples’ character and it can define the difference between failure and success. I personally love it. And yet many people would rather hide than to face it.

In most instances it simply pisses me off when someone is so stubborn with change they become disablers, gatekeepers, and roadblocks. And in that flurry of frustration I realize that is what separates innovators with demotivators, trailblazers with stargazers, and leaders with followers.

Maybe it is generational. Maybe the younger generation doesn’t have the tenured experience and yet maybe because of modern technology, emerging media, and the constant bombardment of information, they are more set up to lead companies into the future. They are more willing to take chances, to explore new channels, and most importantly, to adapt to an ever-changing environment.

There is certainly a flipside to moving too fast and forging ahead with reckless abandon. And the biggest downfall of all of the above is moving forward without a plan, a goal, or a metric. Those very same strengths can become a glaring weakness if done without thinking through.

And yet, maybe this is all cyclical. I’m sure 15 years ago newbies to the business world were probably having the same conversation. I just hope that those who were frustrated are now the ones who are challenging themselves to learn and stay current or simply, trusting those who do know to help lead the way.

What do you think? Do you like change or do you fear it?

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I don’t want to be comfortable

June 30, 2010

I am 12 years into my career and it amazes me at the volume of people who I have worked with, for, or discussed with friends, who are simply working comfortably.

I’m not talking about investment bankers, real estate gurus, or successful entrepreneurs who in their mid-30s are just socking money away until retirement. No, I am talking about the person who doesn’t try too hard and yet does just enough to stay employed. This could be someone who has on gold handcuffs at their current job and doesn’t want to rock the boat or someone who simply knows it is easier to talk a big game, than to play one.

Why do I care? Why should I care? Because these people can become gatekeepers to success, hurdles to new ideas, and killers of change. Everyone is different and that is good and we do need people who are content with filling jobs, careers, and positions at all levels. As a matter of fact, I just recently had lunch downtown and a tenured woman who had been on wait staff since the establishment was open, provided great customer service and even humor. She was happy she did what she did, but she wasn’t comfortable. You could tell she took her job seriously and obviously years of experience made her excel.

I am talking about people who are in leadership positions and now can’t manage, direct, or even initiate themselves out of a wet paper sack. I have no doubt at one point they did try and they did want more, but now have been beaten down into a “I’d rather be fishing” bumper sticker. If you find yourself reading this and thinking “that is me” that is ok. Just get the hell out of the way. Acknowledge your situation and respect that others want to get the most out of themselves, their careers, and their companies.

I don’t ever want to be comfortable in my career from that standpoint. I want that burlap underwear type of career where I am constantly challenged, always learning, and staying well ahead of the curve.

Do you?