ALSF: Winding Down

D and Jay L 11-8Tuesday has always been an interesting day of the week for me. It lacks the melancholy of Monday, with the start of a whole new work week ahead of us, officially ending a great weekend. It’s not quite up to Hump Day standards, and the “2 down; 2 to go” mindset. And it can’t even compare to TGIF, with the prospect of 2 whole days off beckoning us. So what is Tuesday? As I wind down my PULSE assignment with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, Tuesdays have taken on special significance related to strategic planning. Beginning in mid-October, each week the staff is encouraged to attend ‘Tune-up Tuesday’ (TUT) to focus on staff engagement in the Plan, as well as professional development topics of interest. While these sessions are not mandatory, my initial goal was to have 4-6 people attend each week, and have the entire team come to at least one TUT. Instead, I have been thrilled to have 15-20 people make time for the weekly meetings, and they have been enthusiastically prepared to participate. Topics of discussion for these workshops include: running effective meetings; brainstorming; project management; listening and problem solving; and (next week) excellent customer service. I’ve been so impressed with the high level of involvement from the staff; they are eager to learn more and better ways to efficiently manage their days. The sustainability of this project will rely on strong commitment from the top down, and my plan is to re-enforce that message over the next 10 days. There’s still work to be done.

10 days! As I write it’s hard to believe that my PULSE assignment is coming to an end. In July, the weeks passed so quickly it was hard to grasp the time moving from month to month. But as November and December arrived, the days are moving in slow motion; maybe because my time here is drawing to a close, and I’m anxious to return home. Or maybe because there are still items on my “to do” list that I know are too important to leave undone. In any case, I’m ready to head back to the Midwest, to my loving family and friends. This has been an eye-opening experience for a number of reasons: the staff here has been warm and friendly; Philadelphia is a fantastic city to immerse oneself in; and I’ll have interesting stories to share over a glass of wine about apartment living and working in the city. It’s good stuff—believe me!

Returning home will also mean returning to my new position working with the Mayo Health System. My thanks go to colleagues Kevin, Pat, Steve, Jon, and Tanya for your exceptional work in my absence. And I extend my deepest appreciation to my manager Linda Langer, who raised the idea of a PULSE assignment to me at our first face-to-face meeting. Linda, your unwavering support and encouragement during this process make you the kind of manager that models ‘developing people’ to the highest level. I consider myself extremely fortunate to be on your team.

So for now, more planning beckons. We’ll talk soon.

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