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My Labor Day Reflection

Labor Day is a tribute to the contributions American workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. The US Congress designated the first Monday in September as a holiday in June of 1894. On this Labor Day, after completing a do-it-yourself home fix-up project, I reflected on my day-off from work.LaborDay

A look behind me.

I appreciate past relationships with co-workers and managers because the experiences with them shaped and molded my professional career. When I think about my past teams, I am reminded about interactions, coachable moments, managerial decisions, and putting laborers in the right job to contribute to team results.

I appreciate my first manager who hired me after college graduation. He gave me a chance. He extended trust and let me establish a work routine. I appreciate the manager that removed me from an assignment when I was failing and repositioned me to an assignment where I could both succeed and mature. I appreciate the co-worker that approached work with zeal and creativity. Her example opened my mind to see new possibilities for work assignments and inspired me to reach higher.

A look ahead of me.

Can I help others achieve more by using my experience as a guide? Can I improve team output by examining job assignments and organizational layouts to make sure that laborers are in the proper assignments and working on the most important tasks? Am I building team unity?

To contribute to my portion of the team load I need to make sure I’m still learning and continuously improving through self-inspection. One of the reasons I write each week is to reflect on events and ideas that shape my life journey. I believe that my achievement come as the result of the collective effort of those on my team. I must carry my weight on the team by being prepared.

So happy Labor Day to you and me. The fruits of our labor are sweet tasting. But the journey of our labor is not yet complete.

Onward and upward!

Photo Credit: LPHR Group via Creative Commons

#BeThankful

Another year to return thanks.

My favorite holiday of the year is Thanksgiving because it’s not as commercialized as Christmas, Easter, or even the Fourth of July. Thanksgiving today has a rich history with influence from the Pilgrims, the colonial period, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Roosevelt. Through the years it has maintained focus on our blessings, a providential faith, food, and family.

Thanksgiving is a personal holiday.

But Thanksgiving goes deeper than just a holiday in November. It’s deeply personal. Thanksgiving is a holiday that means something different to each person. BeThankfulWe all have our own ‘thankful list’ comprised of people, places, and things that have made an impact on our lives. Our thanksgiving list is something that is etched on our heart and soul. It has the power to make us smile and weep. It is powerful.

My thankful pickings in 2015.

So here’s my list for 2015. It’s comforting to know that the list grows each year as it represents more-and-more blessings along the path of life. I hope you’ll give thanks this Thanksgiving season.

1.Co-workers that go the extra mile.

 

It’s great to be on teams at work when you see others that take their job beyond the reaches of their job description. These are the teammates that stretch the boundaries of their responsibility to create solutions. I call them “All in” employees. They take time to understand the flow of work through multiple departments and the value-add at each step. They speak-up in meetings to advocate the customer experience. They understand that everyone at a company is on the same team and don’t put-down the efforts of others.

 

 

2. A church that is focused on the local community.

 

I love that my church emphasizes and focuses on services and events to my local community throughout the year.  There is a saying at my church that for far too long the church has been known for what it is against rather than what it is for. We are ‘for’ our community to help lift others up and provide a helping hand. One highlight of the year is the annual giving campaign in which we give to local charities that are already making an impact in the community with services such as shelters, food banks, and education. The organizations are not affiliated with my church but they are part of the fabric of my community.

 

 

3. My grandparents who passed-away in December last year.

 

After 72 years of marriage, my grandparents passed on the same day last year. They influenced so many aspects of my life. They shared their faith with me which I chose to keep as my faith. They taught me to fish, to share, and to pray. In his final months of life, my grandfather shared a great teaching with me about worrying.  He said, “You see, I don’t worry about things. That thing worries about itself.“  His point was clear. Don’t worry about stuff in life because that can’t help make it better. He lived a simple life and didn’t over complicate it with unnecessary worries. He was true to his advice.

So I give thanks. It’s more than a list of blessings. It’s deeply personal and it’s part of my faith.  It’s my reminder that I need to return the blessings back to those in my circles of life. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

 

Onward and upward!