Today I had to fill in for my boss who was filling in for our other boss but who had to take care of family business so she wasn't there for my organization's quarterly business meeting.
Still with me?
So I pinned up my dress so I was somewhere near conservative in the cleavage department, reviewed all the Powerpoint slides she'd prepared for a state of the union address and called upon my incredibly gifted co-workers to be ready to fill in the blanks should I stumble with facts and figures -- not my strong suit. I'm all about the story, remember?
But before the report, I had to play her as interviewer. We wanted to feature this incredible pastor who maintained his successful export business while pastoring a church that in the last year or so has started 18 churches which in turn have started 6 more. He's also been "detained" in North Africa when he was picked up on the street because he'd openly answered a woman's question about his faith, and his network of small churches have raised thousands of dollars (and they are mostly churches of immigrant Hispanics) for wells in Mexico. I LOVE this guy!
I also interviewed the co-worker I bragged on in an earlier blog entry.
They were great and I was almost giddy.
I think people suspected I might be a bit toooooo happy about the resignation letter they were also seeing for the first time!
That announcment was in their package of papers but came later in the meeting. Nice things were said about me and I smiled.
After a few more announcements and updates, the rest of the staff and I went to the front of the room to fill in the blanks of the slides. I called on each one of them at one point or the other and they made the stats come alive with stories of what those stats translate into.
I also encouraged, challanged, and declared that since I was leaving I could take a personal point of privilege and say that this staff was one of the most incredible group of consultants I know doing what they do in this country.
I smiled as I acknowledged that I would probably never again work with a group of this caliber.
I smiled when I asked the folks in the room to support the efforts of this staff.
I smiled when we concluded our time with one more pat on the back to those who were there and those who helped to move toward the organization's vision every day.
I smiled when some pastors I've met through the years came forth to hug me.
And I smiled when I walked away, got in my red VW, and saw that location that has housed this meeting for most of my nine years of quarterly meetings in my rearview mirror.
I am, in fact, still smiling.