Thursday, June 27, 2013

Keeping on and keeping up

“If you don’t like what they are saying; change the conversation.”  Don Draper Mad Men, stolen by Peggy in season 6

Tuesday I went to a Women’s Leadership Network conference in the NY office.  Oh you guys, don’t groan.  The guys I work with want to know why there isn't a Men’s Leadership Network.  And you know what; I have no idea why there is not one.  Yeah, yeah, the women scream we've been under the thumb of the white male executive since we started in the corporate world.  This is true. It is not a reason for men to not have a corporate sponsored leadership network.  Reality may be that men simply network better than women?  I tried floating that with the guys at work they thought perhaps that statement had some merit. And that is all I have to say about that.

The conference was interesting.  Held my attention for most of the 2.5 hours and I scribbled down some interesting thoughts.  Thing is there were suggested outcomes but no actions, not even WHAT the presenter did to close the gap on her deficiencies, to get to the suggested outcomes.  Even when our table asked very specific questions about a specific point, and specific actions to get to that outcome, we got nothing.  This is what I dislike about these sessions.  It was 2.5 hours I’m not getting back.  I did make some good connections, however the table assignments were determined I clicked with two of the women and we will keep in contact. So kudos to the table planner.  At the end of the day, I have more outcomes for my development plan and will noodle over how to get from point a to point b. 

Two of the statements struck me as important in both my corporate world as well as my athletic world. 

“Leaders are willing to learn in front of others” 

The ability to learn in front of others started with me back in the mid 80s when I taught step aerobics.  I remember my first class.  Wowza.  It is SO easy to THINK you know the routine when following an instructor, but when you are the one in front of the class, not. so. much. As embarrassing as it was I was dedicated to developing and learning my routines from that point forward.  I can honestly say this experience taught me the benefit of preparation more than any other and any since.  When we don’t do our best, when we fail, we learn.  It isn't easy to fail it does take effort.  Finding something else to do isn't always easy. This quote says it best:

"It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do. There is no fun in doing nothing when you have nothing to do. Wasting time is merely an occupation then, and a most exhausting one. Idleness, like kisses, to be sweet must be stolen." -Jerome K. Jerome, humorist and playwright (1859-1927)

“End as strong as you started.” 

This speaks to many things.  The annoying habit of women to trail off when they are speaking ending a sentence softly, losing the impact or the point.  Negative splits, your last mile being as strong as or stronger than your first mile.

What all this has to do with anything, I’m not really sure.  I've been typing and editing this since Wednesday morning.  I’m not really getting anywhere, or maybe I am, definitely I have not started as a meant to go on.

Wednesday I ran on the beach.  I checked the tide charts and found low tide was perfectly timed with me leaving work a little early.   I managed to get pretty close to my road pace on that firmer sand.  I was pretty pleased with myself!  Made it to the breachway and back to the start in the headwind, keeping my return pace as close to my out pace as I could.

Tonight I waited to run after work, figuring it may be cooler.  It was cooler, I wasn't all that into it.  I did what I could to avoid the inevitable: packed for my trip over the weekend, folded a basked of clothes, ironed, cleaned the bathroom (now you KNOW I am in full avoidance mode).  Eventually I came face to face with the inevitable; I wasn't going to not run around the track.  It wasn't the running it was this commitment I made to myself to actually run around the track as fast as I could.  I have no idea what I am doing.  So I ran the three blocks up-hill to the HS track and ran around it, and then tried to run around it really fast for as long as I could, a whopping ¼ of it.  I'd walk and pick it back up again. Like anything else you aren't good at something the first time you do it.  Next week is another week. So I ran familiar streets and felt better. 

Beth, keeping on keeping on...


  1. Awesome! The track is one if life's great paradoxes. Nobody enjoys it. Nobody is really truly good at it. Yet, at the same time it is so fun and rewarding. Everyone gains something from it.
    Keep it up!!

    1. Thanks!! I am looking forward to the next one (not sure if it is the doing or the being over Muwahaaa).