Now

2020-04-27

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Written 26 April 2020

Having worked form home for the last few weeks, I decided to invest a little in improving my blog. A Mentor of mine added a 'Now' page to his own blog recently, and I kind of liked the idea, so here's mine.

Even though I've been working from home, I'm trying to keep active where I can. Whether through projects, playing with my sons, or just taking a walk. The later I try to do daily. I find getting away from my desk helps keep me calmer. When I get back, I nearly always find I am faster at my work, that it flows more easily.

Among the most meaningful projects I've undertaken during the quarantine was a sermon series on Prayer. I've been a leader in my church's youth group for a while. But when everyone suddenly had to stay home, my particular gifting became very useful. I usually the Tech guy, but I've been polishing my speaker skills for a couple years now. The series concluded last week, and several students told me it helped. I couldn't be more pleased!

On the homefront, Ana and I have leveraged the time, and some recent windfalls to invest in the house. Mostly small touches, like getting a second box lamp to balance the Master Bedroom's decor. We're taking time to intentionally invest in our relationship, and in the spaces we share. I can't quite put it to words, but I can feel the impact as a tension relieved. Oh! We're expecting our third very soon! I'll be father to two sons and a daughter! I'm very excited!

As for projects at home, I'm currently building a coffee table. While the function will be nice, this piece has special significance for me. Have you ever read 'Something from Nothing' by Pheobe Gilman? It's built from pieces of a project my mother built way back when! To top that, I was able to have my son help me finish it too!

Speaking of investments, (no, not the money kind!) I'm pleased to see several paying dividends recently. I mentioned I have been polishing my speaker skills, and I have an exciting opportuntity this week, to speak at an Improving Virtual Lunch and Learn. I'll be speaking on one of my favorite topics 'Effective Meetings'. I am eager to see how this round of improvements and tweaks play out. Given the season this talk is in, I've added several talking points on 'Being Human', which I hope will add to the personal effectiveness of those who apply the discussed tools.

In a similar vein, I'm seeing returns on a set of bite-sized self-improvement exercises that I've assembled. I was inspired by the 10 Day Challenged by EntreLeadership. Synthesizing the Challenge format, as well as elements of my recent training with Improving, I created perhaps 5 different 'challenges'. I ran my first custom challenge back in December. But if I really want this tool grow and help the most people it can, I have to empower others to facilitate the challenges too. I spent time in February developing Facilitators guide to a couple. Just in time too!

Given the season, I found a lot of people were in a kind of 'crisis' mode, worrying a lot about the future, while missing the opportunities in the day they were in. Trying to help, I decided to run the first draft of the Facilitator Guides with a couple willing Improvers. The first of those groups finished this week, with promising results. The second will be finishing at the end of next week, and I hope for similarly promising results.

This season has been full of learning experiences for me. Naturally, I am practicing on the Speaker front, and training up challenge facilitators has definitely honed my coaching skills. On the work front, my client team was reduced to two, leaving me the senior Improving on the project, and in the role of Engagement Manager. Without equivocation, this is a good opportunitiy for my career growth, and it is also a excellent challenge.

Around the same time, I was invited to the client's Architecture Review board. This too is opening new doors, and improving my understanding. Truth be told, I am learning a great deal from the others in that group, especially our brothers in operations. I have gained a new respect for The Pheonix Project, and I am grateful to be reading it again. Speaking of reading, I am also slowly chipping away at Dare to Lead. The little I have read has been exceptionally timely, and very applicable. Definitely some God timing there.