This weekend I flew my millionth mile on Alaska Airlines. I’m told this means I’ve flown the equivalent to the moon and back…twice. That’s a lot of flying. The flight attendants congratulated me; candidly, I’m not sure for what. My first reaction is that I’m going to have to up the carbon offset for my contribution to global warming (yes, we should all do this). Despite the wonderful service from our fine folks at Alaska, I’m not in much of a celebratory mood relative to travel. It means long nights, questionable dietary choices, and time away from my husband and dog.
That said, I actually wouldn’t have it any other way. I love what I do, and this career has given me a chance to work on some of the most interesting and transformative projects of my generation. If I could do what I do without flying, though, I’d do it. But, presentation coaching, communication consulting, and facilitation requires face-to-face interaction. It requires connecting at a deep level with my clients, understanding their challenges, and designing strategies and frameworks to help them and their projects be successful.
This year I’ve been fortunate to be a part of teams winning some of North America’s most significant projects, from the largest airport project in the US to transformative new healthcare environments, bridge rehabilitations, a campus innovation building, new schools in communities across the US, and the most beautiful corporate headquarters I’ve ever seen. I’m also leading the transformation of marketing departments, and I’m facilitating strategic message planning for a large multi-dimensional infrastructure team. Our team also just kicked off a new project for a university with a tailored partnering process. Never a dull moment.
So, this job of mine is not without excitement. And, I have been blessed to work with some incredible people who live across the country and around the world. From Toronto to Copenhagen to Los Angeles, and all the places in between, you’ve welcomed me into your offices and your lives. Thank you. Thank you. What flying gives me is the ability to connect and to be a part of your teams and your projects. Ours is a relationship business, and we’re changing the way teams communicate one presentation, one project, one proposal, one team at a time.
So, what’s next? Not sure I’ll make it another million miles, and frankly, the moon can wait. But, I’m also sure there will be more flights in my future, unless of course the transporter Star Trek promised me materializes in the near future. I’m also expanding our team and our reach at Communication Resources with the addition of two new team members to join our small, but talented collective. I’ll introduce them to you in coming blogs, but suffice it to say, we’re growing so I can spend more time in one place, on projects and with teams, building stronger relationships.
What have I learned as I fly around the world? Everyone has a story, and you meet the most interesting people from the center seat. The test of a great airline is not how they treat you in first class, but how they treat the parent with a crying baby. A smile and being told your work matters makes the travel worth it. And, you really can’t take it with you, so pack lightly whether in your suitcase or in your life. And, Alaska, I should probably be congratulating you for making my job easier with understanding, accommodation, and endless cups of tea.