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Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Fall fell here in the Pacific Northwest and that means any of us who are on bike teams are getting back on our bikes to train for another season of bike racing or triathlon or... Training generally starts off slowly and then ramps up over the winter. Yes, you read that right, we ramp up our riding outdoors over the winter. ;-0  Last year I didn't have the bandwidth to train or race, so I just tried to stay as fit as I could despite the book promotion schedule.  This year, however, I have no excuses, so yesterday even though it poured rain outside, I threw on my raingear and headed out to put in some miles. 

There are many things I've learned from training that translate well to work life, but these 3 clearly came to the forefront while on my ride:

1.  Keep yourself visible.
Sometimes there's a bike lane, sometimes not.  No matter what, stay out into the lane far enough that the guy who is pulling out of the boat supply parking lot still can see and subsequently avoid hitting you.  Looking to be acknowledged for your hard work? Stay visible. Do something different, go beyond the status quo, get up to the whiteboard and start drawing pictures of what people are discussing in your team meeting.  Show up. Ask for feedback and give feedback when merited.  

2.  Don't spit on your teammates.
When you are riding along, sometimes you just need to, you know, spit.  Don't ask me why, I don't understand how your nose and mouth seem to create so much extra fluid when you are training, but they do.  I have found that you make a lot more friends in the peloton (team riding in a group) when you don't spit on them. ;-)  The same applies to work.  You can blame things on your peers all you want but the truth is, no one likes fingerpointing.  Or as someone wrote in a tweet the other day -  when you point you have 3 fingers pointing back at you.  Find ways to promote the people around you, give credit where it is due. Let others be in the limelight, there is plenty to go around, especially when you hold the light.

3.  Learn to ride in any kind of weather.
You can stay inside and ride on your trainer.  I've spent many an icy day doing it.  But even when it's cloudy, you still get vitamin D by riding outdoors, which somehow translates into being a nice person.  For me, even if I just ride back and forth without venturing too far, riding outdoors rain or shine trains my body to cope with cold and I just feel better afterwards. The world is constantly changing.  Period.  You have to ride through it.  Your boss is crabby.  Your co-worker quits unexpectedly and suddenly you have double duty. Your partner has a mid-life crisis.  Ride on.  Keep riding.  This too shall pass.

Big thanks to all of you who have been coming to the workshops or talks I have been giving.  Your drawings rock!  Also special shout out to that team in SF I just worked with who shall remain nameless.  I am super intrigued by what you are up to. For those of you who need to KICK START yourself, check out where I am speaking on my website.  OR rewatch the TEDxRainier video, Draw Your Future.  As alwsys, send me a photo of yourself with your map and your story of success so I can post it here.

"Life is just a cycle of songs, a melody of extemporania.  Love is a thing that can never go wrong, and I am Marie of Romania." - Dorothy Parker


Staff join me for a goal setting session. I can't wait to hear about their results! They graciously invited me to kick off their school year and strategic planning by giving a keynote on Drawing Solutions, Visual Goalsetting.  If you need your team to get revitalized or realigned, this 45-90 minute key note is a perfect way to do it!


Offsitearama: When you want to get your team to talk honestly and openly about the status quo, take them offsite. Have fun, play, create something, get visual, get messy and set some simple actionable goals to bring everyone back together.  Oh, and make sure you have plenty of opportunities to talk over food and drink.  


This team makes it happen. For all the hundreds of events that the Gates Foundation hosts around the world for grantees, partners, staff and the public, this is the team that makes it rock. Here they are posing to say goodbye to longtime employee who was leaving the Foundation. I heart you Events Team!

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