I’m Writing My Last “Mandatory” Blog:

As I mentioned a couple of blogs ago, I’m in an MBA program and my blogging has been mandated by one of those classes. This program has been a difficult two years, not so much from a class point of view but mostly from a “life happens” aspect. Some of the classes were difficult, most where as expected and burdened my time more so than my abilities, but all were educational and interesting.

I’ve met some good friends and several of them I think will be life long. I have also been really fortunate that several of our learning concepts were things I was already doing or just beginning to take on. This provided me both work in progress examples for my studies and valuable knowledge about other projects similar to my own.

I bring this up because if your reading my blog I want to encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and take on some different challenges. Five years ago I thought riding a bike to work was a silly idea based on the uphill climb to get there. Now I ride almost 100 miles a week and find the ride to work not enough of a workout to bother suiting up, but still do it to remind myself that mindsets change.

Testing yourself is one reason to find new challenges. A better reason is to find out things about the people around you and where your worlds collide. My wife tolerated me for last two years, and I cannot imagine a better person to go through this process with. My job encouraged me, gave me time and even funding to travel this road, this helped clarify who believed in my abilities and trusted my judgments.

If you have been working in the real world for years, I challenge you to go back to an academic environment and get graded in six-week intervals again by a professor you barely know if your like me. It will make the hair on your neck stand up in ways you’ve probably forgotten for years.

I was constantly surprised how many of my friends and family approached me to understand why I started blogging, and that they like following me. Remarkably rewarding has also been my friends and some strangers finding me and expressing that they like my blog.

The bottom line for me is that friends and family are different from co-workers, and should be treated as such. Conversely, for both friends and co-workers, entrust and empower them to be better and both groups will live up to the hype. I’ve said it throughout these blogs, find good people (friends or co-workers), empower them to be the best they can be (ditto) and get out of their way. You will be happy you did on all levels and may end up with some friends you happen to work with.

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