Do I Look Fat?

I’m leaving tomorrow for my 40th grade school reunion in Winnetka, IL.  Yes, I meant “grade school.”  You see, at our grade school (Faith Hope & Charity), we started in kindergarten and ended in 8th grade.  That’s nine years together with basically the same 50 kids. And, to my surprise, the majority of classmates are attending the reunion this weekend.

I’ve known about the reunion for the past year and made a commitment to lose some weight and get in shape. Sound familiar?  Well, that idea went by the wayside as I gained 10lbs…and the only shapely thing about my body is the tire around my waste.  Oops.

Despite that, I’m still feeling pretty good about seeing everyone this weekend.  You see, I was a shy and quiet kid who bit his fingernails and was nervous all the time. My goal was to not stand out…and I was pretty successful.  But, that was then and this is now.  I’m no longer that fearful kid.  In fact, I’m just the opposite and for some reason…I want my classmates to know that I changed.  Is that odd?

The past three weeks my grade school classmates (all very successful people themselves) have taken turns sending emails to the group sharing memories of 40+ years ago.  And guess what?  My name was never mentioned in any of their stories or memories.  Surprised?  I wasn’t either.  Yet, it made me feel sad in a way.  I feel like I didn’t have an impact on anyone’s life back then.  I didn’t make a difference.  I wasn’t noticed.

So maybe this reunion is an opportunity to “make up for lost time.”  Then again, if I was never noticed as a kid, how would people noticed I’ve changed?  Maybe I’ll just have a beer and keep it to myself.



Why a “retainer” matters!

In the past couple of years I finally feel like I’m having an impact with the companies I’m working with.  Actually, it is with the companies that have put me on a retainer.  Allow me to explain…

Instead of coming into a company to provide a training class…or some kind of intervention…or a coaching session with a struggling manager, I now come in on a regular basis, hold office hours, and make myself available to all the employees for one-on-one coaching, group facilitation, team building, and whatever else I can assist with.  And more importantly, I’m making a difference.

Here’s why I’m a big fan of retainers:

  • Regularity breeds trust.
  • The best way to truly understand a corporate culture is by being in it.
  • The more I’m around, the more I can be of service.
  • Because I understand the culture, my opinions carry more weight.
  • And although I’m on retainer, I’m not an employee.  Hence, I can provide honest, objective, and direct feedback without having to worry about internal politics.

If you are a coach or consultant, you should consider proposing the retainer option for your clients.  It truely is a win-win.