I am a good listener, because I am both curious and creative. As a conceptual thinker, I am always building a puzzle in my mind of the fragmented words and images that tend to litter our minds and create confusion and sometimes frustration.
Not surprisingly, my career has been one of story telling. As a journalist, a policy analyst, a corporate communicator and corporate planner, the goal has been to help create clarity and write it in such a way that others can see it too. I am a consummate writer to document what I learn and observe because second chances only come along once.
In the corporate world where orderliness is particularly important and where behavior is defined (cloaked in words like competencies and culture), creative types can have a difficult time fitting in. They are "pink flamingos in a brown duck pond." I am such a pink flamingo and some of my best friends, mentors and teachers are brown ducks. Over the years, however, I have learned to observe and learn, and I have learned to use my creativity in way that helps others to be successful. The other day, a peer paid me the ultimate compliment: "You make every one's words just better."
Questions get in the way. "Is this good enough?" "Will people like and accept this?" "How is this going to work exactly?" "Is it profitable?"
The fact is, these are the questions of business, no matter what business you are in. So these questions are perfectly normal. In fact, these are the right questions to ask.
Questioning indicates that the proper due diligence is being applied. In my experience, someone who says they don't question themselves is either very arrogant, very lucky, or very forgetful.
There are other factors that must be balanced and demonstrated if a vision stands the test of time. I coveted the lessons of my mentors, my employees and my family:
1. History shows us that power corrupts. Leadership and governance practices prevent possible issues.
2. Be a responsible employer. Help people see the future, and how they fit in. They will care more about the work they do. Recognize the people who help make you successful.
3. Listen to your customers. If customers are complaining about the price, it is because the service or quality of the product is below par.
4. Protect your words as much as you would your bank account. What you say about yourself is what everyone else will say too.
5. Money made without honesty, integrity and quality will cost you reputation. Reputation has an undefinable and detrimental price tag.
6. Be healthy. The most successful people are those who exercise regularly and look after their health.
7. Do something good for someone without keeping track. People who give back are happier and engaging.
8. Work during business hours. Take vacations. Do not send emails to your clients or employees at all hours of the night.
9. Be graceful. Do not be afraid or frantic. You will only scare people and make them worry.
10. Smile. Lines are unattractive.
Lynear Thinking made its grand entrance at a corporate blue sky meeting where I was asked to express a vision. I said I wanted to be the CEO of my own making, to work in environment when we did not say no, rather how. To climb mountains worth climbing and to do work worth doing. They were a bit shocked, but then they expected that of me. I had a reputation for "revolutionary creativity."
In 2002 I took on a management role. I built a team that to this day still is a great source of pride for me as I watched them grow and become successful. My alter ego's Lynear Thinking vision was expanded to leadership. I was hooked. It was no longer good enough to be the best at what I do. I wanted to help others be the best at what they do.
In 2009, a third shift occurred that has altered and strengthened the vision of Lynear Thinking. I wanted to be a role model for my daughters who had grown up along side me. I realized that I was not living up to my potential, and that there had to be more. Enter the George Reed Foundation. I began working with George on setting up his foundation. I am taken aback by his genuine concern for people, and his heart. I feel very lucky to be apart of his story.
Lynear Thinking is no longer my alter ego. It is a vehicle that allows me to help people bring their own visions to life. It represents a brand of integrity, honesty and quality. And it will be consultative, cooperative and creative in creating the best possible experience for my clients.