September 11th, 2007



A long afternoon sitting in a too-small conference room with the entire new marketing organization, going through slide after slide of who we are and how we work together in the new flow chart of people and placement. After each section of the presentations, the 50+ people there took turns giving a 1-minute recitation on what their goals/methods/attitudes were doing to contribute to the overall growth of the company.

Thinking outside the box

Asking for forgiveness rather than permission

Behaving professionally

Seeking a good balance

Finding solutions in various areas

Working as a team

Being better at what we do

In other words, "I pledge to do my job to the best of my abilities and then some, blah blah blah" with various twists on a theme. Here's what I said, in so many words:

"My contribution to the overall growth of the company is to continue. ...Continue to get up each morning and look forward to work. Continue to bring a smile and present a cheerful, positive attitude to my colleagues and the sales offices. Continue to provide creative and quick delivery without losing sight of quality. Continue to ensure that everyone at my company and our customers know what materials and services we offer. Continue to keep track that our corporate graphical identity is being consistently updated and enforced."

Except that I said it in Swedish, and stuttered on the first sentence so that it came out as "continue to come to work" which made everyone howl with laughter, but hey you know what? That IS something we must all do to contribute to the overall growth of the company. Eller hur?

Anyway, after everything was gone over and gone through and all the PowerPoint slides had slid their way to the finish, the head of the organization thanked us all for coming and held up a little bag of candy (Haribo gummy fruit pacifiers) and said that it would go to the person that had the best 1-minute presentation.

"Who had the best presentation?" he asked.

We all just sat there and stared at him, some shifting in their seats, some giggling nervously.

He asked again, and held up the bag. Everyone sort of looked around, all those well-behaved Jantelagen-indoctrinated Swedes, but no one said anything.

So I shot up my hand and said, "It was me!" Everyone laughed, and he laughed too, and then asked them, "Well, okay, was Liz's the best one?" Everyone laughed again and some said yes and some started clapping, and he asked a third time if I was the best and finally the room chorused "YES!" and he threw me the bag of candy. Score!

Then I ripped it open and passed it around the room. Because I'm a team player like that.
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