I woke up Sunday morning on the fence. I was scheduled to speak Monday and Tuesday in New Hampshire with Sandy approaching. The CNN storm of the century coverage was begging me to bail on the conference. My mom and girlfriend also preferred I stay put. I picked up the phone and called conference planner and friend Bud Bernstein. He understood my reservations. I understood the planning around this event was a year in the making and having speakers no show at the last minute was a less than ideal situation for Bud. The event was a green light. I was on the 10:30 am flight to New Hampshire.
I got lucky and was actually grateful for my experience the last couple days. I was able to return the favor of support that Bud and the team have provided my business in recent years. I renewed a number of meaningful connections. I was able to meet gifted practitioners offering all kinds of ideas and insight into the future of work and role HR plays in accelerating business performance. I delivered a new strategic workshop in collaboration with colleague and good friend Don MacPherson. I only got to say a quick hello to fellow Minnesota keynoter Jason Averbrook but was fortunate to spend a little time learning from Nilofer Merchant, an author/speaker whose ideas I have long admired (check out her new book). This was my first time in New Hampshire and this week also helped me secure some return visits to this beautiful part of the country in 2013 for the Granite and Vermont State Conferences. Like I said, lucky…
When the storm hit Monday night we talked about the expected inconveniences coming next. I anticipated being stranded in New Hampshire and potentially missing my next event in Chicago. We also fully recognized those kind of little inconveniences are meaningless in comparison to the incomprehensible damage and destruction so many people on the east coast are experiencing. Life can offer big, brutal doses of perspective in a moment. Suddenly so much of what seemed so important suddenly isn’t. What becomes important in those moments are relationships, resolve and respect for one another. Fortunately, we have real life Superheros who insert themselves into those moments. There is something special about those people and I find their stories of rescue and repair quite incredible. I think we can all learn and benefit from their example. So much of that important work is clearly just beginning. My thoughts go out to the people so adversely effected and those lending help and support in recovery.
Ryan Estis is a Keynote Speaker & Management Consultant blogging about business performance.