The Mrs and I celebrated my 45th year on earth at Atelier Crenn a few days back... and it was glorious!
I guess I'm half way through this wonderful Merry-Go-Round called life so I'd be foolish not to share a few things I've learned to this point.
I recall a poetry teacher telling me I couldn't write about Love or Death. She was teaching me to be more creative but I was bewildered... those are my two favorite topics. I quarreled with another teacher who told our class that love is a process not an emotion... she was right!
I guess people fall out of love or miss it because it takes patience and compromise. No one wants to believe that the best thing in life should be an affect of perseverance; but it is.
When you find it and you get it right you wonder how you ever lived without it.
It's inevitable. Get busy living.
I've only had 4 jobs in my 20 years of Corporate life. Every company I've worked for has given me ample opportunity to succeed. That's all I ever needed. I enjoy working. I enjoy getting up early. I like competing and I like collaborating even more. I'd like to think I've helped create some things that have made people's lives better. I hope the people with whom I've worked are happy for the experience.
You might some day get fired... you'll find a new job. If you hate work you should find a new profession. Life is way too short to wake up on any given day with the certainty in your mind that said day will suck.
All you have to do is be present. Listen. Show young people the same respect that you do your peers.
The least talented kid on the team will always get a big hit. The enlightened perspective of young people will always surprise you. You'll have to watch your children fail from time to time. You may have to stay out of the way when things aren't perfect in their lives.
For now.... I think my kids enjoy being around me. That's enough for me.
There is a song for every occasion. You might shed a tear in your car when a tune pulls on your heart strings. You might run a little faster when a great song comes over your headset. If you learn to sing and play guitar, you are far more likely to woo the girl of your dreams.
I live life with an Under Dog Mentality..... no where does this mentality find revelry better than on the field.
Sports are a divine metaphor for life.
You should find someone to love.... you'll be better for it.
You should not worry about death.
You should find a job you love.... you spend the majority of your life working, do something that doesn't suck.
Parenting isn't for everyone but if I can do it, you can too. Trust Me!
You should listen to a ton of music.
Occasionally the under dog wins..... nothing is cooler!
Be nice to your parents. Don't treat your kids as your subordinates. Give your brother a high five. Tell your sister you love her. Get a dog. Hug a friend. Stop arguing with people over social media. Pray don't Prey. Eat great food. Drink good beer. Exercise. If your spouse tells you that you're being an asshole, he/she is probably right.... no one else is going to tell you and they are only disappointed that you are acting out of character.
Travel. Practice fidelity. Get a pair of head phones.... they come in handy when annoying people sit next to you in an empty bar room.
Put a dollar in the jukebox. Tip well. Try not to be mean. Buy some cool shoes. Don't lie. When you mess up, own it. Actions speak louder than words. Do your fighting in the ring.
Don't be violent. Don't talk politics around strangers. Don't try to convince people that God exists.... they'll figure it out. Don't be a Philistine.
Watch Netflix.... there's great stuff on there.
Watch as many movies as you can. Attend plays not musicals. Try to eat healthy. Exercise. Allow people to be OK with who they are. Take a walk. Stick up for yourself. Listen to The Grateful Dead. Try to give people the benefit of the doubt but don't allow people to take advantage of you. Try weed. Don't try Acid. Trust Me!
Spend a summer cleaning pools.
Know that the one irreplaceable talent you possess is the ability to work hard. Work Hard!
Read books. Listen to podcasts.
Join a gym. Don't join a country club.
Learn to skateboard. Learn to surf. Be safe doing both of those things.
Hug somebody. Kiss somebody.
Don't Forget to Remember
Monday, April 23, 2018
The 2018 SHRM Annual Conference will be the 10th straight that I’ve had the pleasure of attending. Perhaps more intriguing is the fact that I’ve participated in this conference as an Exhibitor and an Attendee alike.
I know the pure joy of working on my feet at an Exhibitor booth for 12 hours a day along with the thrill that comes from attending sessions and running from one corner of the conference hall to another as an attendee. The biggest take away…….
We are all attending the SHRM Annual Conference for the same reasons:
… to Learn, Grow and Thrive!
I’ve been in Business Development in the Human Capital Management industry for more than a decade. The biggest revelation as a Sales Professional came to me at a SHRM Conference a few years into my career. Our CEO handed me his all access badge and told me I could step away from our booth to attend some programming.
I sat down in a presentation room eager to learn and something amazing happened…. The person next to me actually started talking to me. I didn’t have to scan her badge, I didn’t get a dirty look when I introduced myself and there was no need to afford her a stuffed animal in exchange for conversation.
I stopped going to sales training classes. I started attending every HR-related seminar I could. I had tapped into the mindset of the HR Professional and I began to identify with their day-to-day challenges.
They had challenges, I had solutions.
I stopped barking in meetings to prove what our product could do and started asking questions.
I put the arrogance assumed of the salesman aside and became a peer to my buyer.
My efforts to understand landed me a position on the SHRM Social Media Team 6 years ago.
All of this is a reflection on how Exhibitors can maximize their opportunity to win the confidence of HR Professionals in the Exhibitor Hall.
Here are a couple simple tips:
Don’t exchange swag without conversation
People will always want a promotional item to bring home to their kids. Best to build their brand advocacy at an early age. If you offer an item in exchange for a little bit of program information and an ask for post-event communication, you’ll know rather to fish or cut bait. Don’t waste your time chasing down people who don’t want to talk to you or have no insight to offer.
Everyone is a potential advocate
These days’ people will view my badge and see: Blogger.
These days’ people will view my badge and see: Blogger.
Many “vendors” see my title as insignificant to the implementation of their product and send me off to another booth without an interaction. Every person walking the floor of the Exhibitor Hall has value to lend. You never know, their spouse could be the VP of HR at your most-desired prospect.
Pretend each HR Professional is an old friend
Just because you are an Enterprise Sales Rep doesn’t mean you can’t have meaningful conversation with HR Pros from smaller businesses. Don’t pretend to be too important to engage someone who has come to your office to hear about your solution.
Every Exhibitor should…..
- Participate in and/or reading the recap of a #NextChat
~ Their content often feeds your solution and you buyers trust their thought leadership
Note to HR Professionals:
Remember, vendors are people too…. They are missing their kid’s dance recitals to stand on their feet all day. Extend them the decency of a meaningful conversation.
See you all at #SHRM18 !
- David Kovacovich
Friday, April 13, 2018
"I am taking tiny steps forward"
The Great John Darnielle revealed the power of transition in recent conversation. I've often noted that life's most memorable occasions lie in the moments in-between; sparse flashes of reward cradled in the ugly arms of a Giant called life.
"when you punish a person for dreaming their dream don't expect them to thank or forgive you"
All Hail West Texas is a record by The Mountain Goats that narrates from the limbo of lonely highways; people, like tumble weeds, waiting for the wind to blow them somewhere.
The summer between high school and college.... the transition from student to professional.... the moment when an individual becomes the leader of the tribe.
The Romance in the Leaving
"I wish the West Texas Highway was a mobius strip, I could ride it out forever when I feel my heart break"
I've lived in several places. I was always good at leaving a location behind. I felt as though I'd done the best I could while confined there and I knew when to move on.
I loved high school: I had a great group of friends, we created art out of our boredom, we seemed to realize the fleeting brilliance of our time together. The last concert I attended in Michigan before going off to college in Arizona was tasty icing on the cake of a wonderfully meaningful part of my life. My friends and I enjoyed some libations, said what needed to be said and sat in silence on the ride home; slightly stoned with the wind blowing through our hair.
It's never easy saying goodbye... to a friend.... a job..... a place. But, with every departure there is an opportunity.... a clean slate.... a new sunrise.
If you learn to embrace that comfort can be left behind, you will always find a way to succeed.
The Hope of Making Something Meaningful
"(we are) not too far gone to care"
If you don't do a good job beating up on yourself, you are probably too-comfortable. Self-criticism is the result of divine love for oneself; the knowledge of your power and shame in your short-comings. No person is ever measured by what they did not do. So, you might as well focus on the good stuff.
Get used to reflecting upon what you have done well. Stop worrying about what didn't happen.
In the end, we all want to be happy. Happiness is the result of observing the mountain in front of you and starting the climb to the summit.
No one wants to do the easy thing.
Put some stuff in your backpack, grab some rope and climb the mountain.
... it's waiting there for you.
The Realization that the Merry-Go-Round Has No Conclusion
"and I waited for you but I never told you where I was"
There will be assholes (and good people too) at every company in which you are employed.
Every time you think you have your trade mastered, a new wrinkle comes into the plan.
Life would be really boring if everything was perfectly the same every day... if your every day is perfectly determined before you live it..... You Need to Start Living!
If you knew you were going to die, what would you do differently?
You are..... So, you should!
"After one long season alone in here.... I am going to find the exit"
Don't Forget to Remember,
* Lyrical interludes provided by John Darnielle