There’s that ambition again

Last month I experienced something motivating. I’ve grabbed hold, fast and hard, and it’s going to be a good ride. Even if it’s just how I counter the bad in my personal life, it’s good, and doing good, and I’m excited.

I learned a great deal about this company, the work we do, and our dedication to community service. As I close in on 90 days, I now have goals that will carry me through the next year and into the future; goals both business and community. For business goals, I plan to rock it: to learn, to question, to understand, and to become a reliable and relied upon source for research and writing. For community goals, I plan to take our large box of former employee’s now-unused cell phones and arrange for them to be donated to Verizon Wireless’ HopeLine program, now and every year, and to bring our philanthropic activities to the Atlanta office by finding, planning, and executing fundraising activities for the causes we support, and trying to add domestic violence to that list. Ambition Addiction, 18 December 2012

Sometimes words are action. Sometimes action is action. Already I’ve read the book the president of my company mentioned as influential in his business and personal life. That one worked out pretty well, getting all Freshly Pressed and everything. I’ve asked about what meetings and workshops I can attend to better understand our business. We revolve around the LIHTC program. There’s a lot, I mean a whole new college degree level of learning in this. I’ve asked about giving back to the community.

For business goals, I took the 1st challenge. I was asked to complete a task normally completed by someone who was unavoidably out of the office. I researched, asked questions, and started working. I made a typo and my boss caught it in time, thank goodness. I put more pieces of the work together with the studying. Parts of the tax code are staring to make sense. I’m scared. Next week I’m going to visit one of our construction sites. This one has several units that will be specifically dedicated to domestic violence victims. I’m very interested in this project.

For community goals, I presented three ideas to our Director of Everything. I’m not kidding. She oversees Marketing, IT, and HR, and she loves every minute of it. Her energy is contagious.

It started with the new year. The VPs were in the Atlanta office for several meetings. During a coffee-making break I was in the kitchen with two of them and advantaged a pause to say “I would like our office to contribute to our philanthropy efforts.” I continued to tell them I had found the Atlanta and Georgia chapters for two of the foundations we support in Missouri, and then mentioned the HopeLine program. I asked who I should talk with about making this happen. Both agreed this was a good idea. I was told to email the Director of Everything and asked to copy them. I sent the email immediately. Sort of. It took about 45 minutes to get the two paragraphs just right.

Today I talked with our Director of Everything. The phones will be donated to Verizon Wireless for victims of domestic violence. She has assigned one of the IT guys to take care of this. I will call him tomorrow. It requires data scrubbing, which I can’t do, but I can find the nearest store able to accept this number of phones.

The conversation continued and she asked me to get together with everyone in the Atlanta office to decide what events we want to participate in for both The Boys and Girls Club and The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Their events calendars have a few more entries than they did January 3rd.

She told me who organizes and approves philanthropic efforts, but this first time I’ll go through my Director and she’ll mentor me through it. I scheduled an office meeting for Monday. The 5 of us there today spoke briefly, in more detail than my earlier queries to see if they would strap on their running shoes and join me. There are 8 of us if we are all there. The universe is putting all 8 of us in the office on Monday.

I’ve been presented opportunities and I’ve taken them, and I’m scared. I’ve taken more than a few deep breaths. I’ve sat on shaking hands. I’ve said “um” in several conversations. But I don’t want to stop. I know I will make mistakes. Things won’t go all fairy-tale. Just the other day I misspelled my boss’s name in a letter that would go out to 59 people. He found it; I fixed it. We fixed an awkward sentence together. It wasn’t the end of the world. It won’t be next time either.

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