Friday, June 18, 2010

Hands in the Air, Anticipating the Ride

Experiential learner that I am, many of my aha moments are accompanied by "doing" metaphors. I illustrate the ying/yang of the art of leadership -- keeping the urgency taut as you move toward a vision while clearly understanding current reality -- as the motion of cross country skiing. These last few days I've been feeling the hills -- the strain of climbing, the anticipation, the release and pure joy -- of a roller coaster.

First I returned from not only a fun trip but a truly stimulating one. My time in London with friends/entrepreneurs there inspired me. I remembered how much I love helping a person of passion move toward achieving their dreams. The second day back I interviewed for a position with an organization where I have volunteered for 15 years. I enjoyed meeting the staff and could begin to see that it could really be a good match for me. I made the "cut" (5 candidates were simultaneously in this process) and met with board members the next day. At the conclusion of that one, a board member thanked me for my enthusiasm. I hadn't realized how long it had been since someone commented on that (used to be a fairly regular observation folks made about my presentations) and was optimistic but cautiously so. Seems my lack of the title on my resume for the position the director was seeking to fill continued to be a concern for him. He just didn't see how my church experiences would translate into a health non-profit fundraising and volunteer management role.

So yesterday, he called to tell me that they had gone a different direction. And honestly, I felt released. I wanted to work for a group who "got me", who could think outside the box and be ready to creatively answer questions that nagged them, who matched my passion and provided me a challenge and a playground for new ideas. If my lack of the title he wanted to see boxed him in, then that's not the place I want to be.

And if that realization weren't enough, I then got a call that a dear woman and one of the reasons I call Houston home, had died. Carolyn was an incredible force wrapped in a body that was 100 pounds possibly but only when wet. Her story will be another entry on another day when I can tell it without tearing up and jeopardizing the keyboard.

But truly, how can a concern over a career path even compare to the loss of a loved one. I called her husband Bill and simply said, "I love you and am praying" and I went to my next event with the knowledge that my chosen family here is incredible.

The event I attended for my current boss included doctors from the area. One couple heard me mention Tanzania and came back to talk. They've only been married two years. She ran a center for AIDS orphans in Namibia before coming here. I explained a bit about the work I'd done with the organization I'd known as Minnesota International Health Volunteers in 2008.

This morning I decided to see what MIHV was up to. For one thing, they've changed their name. Now Wellshare International they are currently looking for a Communications and Volunteer Manager. I sent my resume.

I've also sent my number to a friend who says her friend wants to introduce himself to me. No clue what that means except . . .

The anticipation begins again.

1 comment:

Dr. John Fairless said...

Ahh...anticipation. Such delicious anxiety, the fecund experience of hope.