By Monday our new home for Consumers corporate will be #TheGroves. We have been packing and moving for the past month. Planning has been in the works for over 3 years. The organization by our team has been incredible. From Operations to Training to Human Resources, IT, well the list goes on and on. No team has not pitched in. What I have been most impressed with is how many times “May I Help You?” “Hey Need A Hand?” “Can I Get The Door” has been echoing through offices all through @ConsumersCU.
I personally have had 47 requests to help me as I packed and moved items. 47 in 3 days. I began counting when I realized my workload was sure going to be a lot lighter thanks to an amazing group of individuals who follow through on “May I Help You?” From staff to contractors on site, no one sits idly by without a genuine smile appearing and an offer to help.
An email went out asking for assistance on phones as the Call Team transferred to our new home. 5 YES responses came in 10 seconds from our offices all across West Michigan. Within 5 minutes coverage was complete.
Our culture is shining this week as we move into our new home thanks to four simple words, “May I Help You?”
Sometimes we get so busy we forget the little impact those four words have. Let’s take them out into the world!
I just read a blog focusing on the fact that there is no such thing as a “balanced” work / home life. The blogger went on to say that if you don’t like what you do- change. The remarks to the blogger were the most eye-opening for me. They referred to the writer as “pompous” and “unrealistic” and focused on negativity in the workplace with no hope in sight. I thought of the below post written in 2012. The same holds true today – except we are now packing up our 5th of 6 kids to head to college (YEAH!) It’s easy to become negative. It’s easy to get into a rut at work or home and feel you are a hamster on a wheel. It’s hard to pick up your spirits if they are down and look at the big picture.
Last night we went to Holland, Michigan to see Lake Michigan. We shopped in town, relaxed at dinner, watched a sunset and ended the night with Ice Cream. It captured the meaning of a “Full Screen Life” as listed below. Enjoy!
I’ve been spending the morning preparing for a cleaning out of now college freshman Emily’s bedroom.
She did a great job packing and sorting. The left behind is her childhood memories that will be stored away until she’s ready to re-open the fun in her own home someday.
My Sunday’s are often spent preparing. I indulge myself with readings all morning while I ponder the task list in front of me. Today’s task that looms ahead is one that is exciting and yet melancholic at the same time. Two of the articles I read hit home with me today as I prepare for the challenge:
In it author Leo Babauta explains how we often are doing two to three or four things at once:
“We’re doing one work task while trying to stay on top of email, text messages and social media. We’re talking with a friend while seeing what we’re missing on Facebook and Instagram. We’re eating while planning. Making love while thinking about work.” Babauta shares his concept on living a “Full Screen Life” by focusing only on the one task you are doing. If you are engaging in a discussion with your daughter – don’t think about work – truly engage in the moment with your daughter. He showcases how to do this and encourages practice.
The second reading came from a review on Gretchen Rubin’s new book, Happier at Home: ”Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson and My Other Experiences in the Practice of Everyday Life.’ Rubin dedicated a school year to making her home a place of greater simplicity, comfort and love. I would love this book as a Christmas Gift (Hint Hint) and in the meantime have reviewed the reviewer and know that Rubin is on to something. (‘Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life’ by Gretchen Rubin http://mymindonbooks.com/?p=6142)
Perhaps it is because our home has gone from a loud and open door place where 6 kids introduced us to every form of friend and foe into a quieter more grown up house with two teenagers who rarely fight and revel in playing games with their ol’ Mom and Dad. Perhaps it’s because I’m about to clean out a post-high school girl room and bring more space to what was once a very overcrowded home while celebrating another pretty successful push from the nest. Either way the two readings that I came across today I believe did not show up by accident.
The funny thing is – when you are in the midst of the madness of raising kids and raising career goals is when you really need to live a Full Screen Happy Life. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not in any way thinking my life was not full and happy – I am saying there is comfort in intentional happiness and full attention at work and home.
I’m excited and humbled at this juncture in our lives. My work is compelling, challenging and just plain fun. My life is less stressed with school activities and more open to new learnings and opportunities. I’m taking the two readings from today and combining them at work and home. Get ready to practice with me…. let’s jump into a Full Screen Happy Life!
Tip #1 for Full Screen Happy Life: Cards, Dice and Game Boards belong on every table – both office and home – not hidden in closets or drawers!
When you are working in a fast paced growing company with goals and strategies guiding you rapidly, you face daily change.
When you have 3 of 6 children graduating into new walks of life, and you see the world flying by at breakneck speed, you face core life change. The 1998 Easter photo below proves to me change is my reality.
Change is good. Change is bad. Change is stressful.
What if All Change is Good?
I delved into an article this morning from ProjectGlobalAwakening.com. In it , author Brandon West wrote about something that resonated with me. He asked if I remembered jumping into the arms of my Mom or Dad when I was little and the trust I had that everything would be OK. I was jumping into the air with no assurance I would not land on my head and yet I jumped with ease and joy.
West explains this jumping off and surrendering ourselves without fear as something we should do in every aspect of life – because All Change is Good.
Really? All Change IS Good?
You get demoted? That’s Good?
You don’t get the job of your dreams? That’s Good?
Your friend’s parents die? That’s Good?
As you move into a new job, new responsibilities, a demotion, your kids leaving home. It’s All Good?
My brother John passed away at age 52 in a car accident. No rhyme, no reason. No help for the heart to understand why this tragic change took place. John had a deep personal Faith that ‘God is Good, Always.’ He never questioned it. I know, despite not having my big brother here physically, he is still guiding my life in his big brother way. All Change IS Good.
Can we trust All Change IS Good? Can we?
This Easter Weekend has me knowing I was meant to reflect about the Goodness of Change. When we close our eyes, can we see ourselves as a child trusting others as we fly into the air and jump into their arms? Can we hear ourselves squeal as our Dad threw us up into the sky?
The joy of trusting that everything will be OK is here for the taking. I’m a very positive person, but lately change has left me feeling a bit melancholy. And so I’m going to continue to ask the questions:
When did we stop jumping? What happened in life that change brought sadness or became something to fear instead of something to embrace? Can we go back to facing change with pure joy and knowledge that it will be GOOD?
Time to make some changes to make that happen. Happy Easter everyone.
PS: Look again at Easter photo 1998. All change IS good!
It begins with jewelry. Jewelry is my friend and I like to keep mine in good shape all the while being a bit tough on my prime pieces. When I began with Consumers Credit Union there was a tiny yellow house located near our office with a sign out front – Rose Jewelers.
I walked into the jewelry store to meet Jim. This was nearly 3 years ago and he was not feeling well. Despite being under the weather, he treated me with kindness and I was amazed at his skills and his care (and his repair prices were right up my alley too!)
He asked about me, since I was a new face, and I explained I was the new Chief Marketing Officer of Consumers Credit Union. Jim then beamed and said , “I was just thinking of switching to your bank, because I’m fed up with fees.”
I immediately took his card and said our business services team would be in touch. Fast Forward 3 years and a few visits later (Thanks hubby Rob for always keeping me in BLING) I stop by today to drop a few pieces off for repair. Jim smiles and we chat a bit about vacation and how his life is going. I thank him for his quick and painless service to my pocketbook. He laughed and mentioned a woman who was in the month before and this is his story:
A woman came in to Rose Jewelers during a snow storm and was charged $10.00 for a repair. She pulled cash out of her pocket she was dismayed to only find $8.00 in her pocket. She exclaimed, “Jim I know I had a $20!” He said – no worries catch me next time and took the $8.00. Last week the snow melted (finally) in Michigan. Jim was walking to his truck after work and there on the ground was a $20.00 bill. Jim went back into the store and called his customer to let her know he found her $20.00! He told her to come and get it!
Once Jim told me this I grinned ear to ear. I said, “Jim – that’s why you are such a valued member! You live and breath customer service – you are our member/owner and we thrive on your integrity!”
There are so many “Jim’s” out there! To all of you who are touched by our member service teams every day, tell us your stories. Let us know through Success@ConsumersCU.org how customer service has impacted your life or how YOU have made a difference in others lives.
We all can make someone’s day a bit brighter. It may not be that exact day, it may be a month later when the snow melts , but we CAN brighten a person’s day just by taking that one extra step of servant leadership.
What are all of those symbols doing showing up in my Facebook posts? Don’t people know how to write a normal sentence anymore?
Here are two examples:
Do you know what the above two words mean? In social networks they are clear “directions” for posts and writings.
So what IS a hashtag anyway?
Growing up, we called a hashtag symbol a pound symbol and it looked like this: # It was also known as the number sign above the 3 on the keyboard.
In my school days an “at” symbol was the curly-que and was fun to doodle while avoiding homework. Did you know there is not a real name for the “at” symbol other than “at.” How cool is that?
Today the Hashtag # and At @ symbols have taken on new meaning. Their meaning is very simple:
# = Topic
@ = Name
That’s it. Nothing more simple than that. When you are networking socially the #hashtag and @at symbols are ways of communicating. Knowing how and why they are used help us in our career, school and daily life.
I was honored to be invited to present at the #NetworkingDivas conference to share how to use hashtags.
Note I used a # hashtag symbol before #NetworkingDivas. I did this intentionally as a form of thanks, recognition and later allowing me to search for content by awesome women and men who encourage networking at all levels. Recently, I attended the #Filene Research and Design Colloquium. When I’m ready to read all of the posts/links/notes about the conference I’ll only have to “search” #Filine to connect to great thought leaders.
Let’s start with the # symbol and then take a deep dive into the @symbol.
When you see a # in front of a word on twitter, facebook or any other social media network you are seeing what someone placed as a “remember” or a “trend” word to remember. I’m writing this blog on #TBT. On Thursdays you may see quite a bit of “old photos” and #TBT in the copy of the caption. That means Throw Back Thursday. #TBT is just one of the hashtags that people use to indicate they are part of the “fun” of the concept of sharing old photos.
Use Hashtags To Meet / Friend/ Follow People
I learned of a teenager who wanted to have lots of followers on #Instagram. The photo sharing social network is big on hashtags. You may see 10 – 20 hashtags ini a post. This teenager googled (searched) the top 10 Hashtags on Instagram and began using every one in every photo even if it had nothing to do with the photo. She instantly saw many followers appear in her network.
The above isn’t something I recommend but it showcases how you can have more people “see” your posts based on the hashtags you choose. Hashtags also allow you to find people that share your same passions for work and hobbies. Use Hashtags To Make People Smile
I remember when my husband sent a hashtag to our group family text. It was the first time we ever saw him use a hashtag. #ForgotMilk. We all texted back and forth about his newfound abilities and we #lol (laughed out loud). Hashtags have the ability to make you smile, think, ponder, and scratch your head. My friend sent me a #WCW text. I had no idea what it was. I asked her and she said it was #WCW and #MCM. They mean: #Women Crush Wednesday and #Man Crush Monday. I smiled big when she said she and her daughters send them all the time. How cool that I was a friend who received one!
Other #Hashtags that are seen often and can help you connect with others:
#MM = Mention Monday – Shows you recognize the talent/like a post
#WW = Writer Wednesday – Shows you recognize talented blogger/writers
#FF = Follow Friday – Gives you @Names of people to follow /friend
Use Hashtags to Research and Search
If there is one thing that hashtags do for us that is a game changer, especially on twitter, is they allow us to search in realtime. If you search on Google you may find documents a decade old that come to the forefront of your results. If you search on Twitter you will find tweets and links to articles and authors that are real time. Searching and Researching is an invaluable tool for anyone in all walks of life. We never stop learning. Why not learn from the most recently published articles as well as the tried and true? You don’t need to have thousands of followers to do searches- that’s the beauty!
Want to know trending #hashtags? Here’s a GREAT site with the top ones!
You’ll be happy to know the top five are #AWESOME words:
#Love #InstaGood #Me #Like #Follow. Why is everyone @ChangingNames?
@ = Name
Whenever you see an @ in front of a word that is the person’s name on social networks. My name on twitter is @MojoCMO. It means Mom Johnson of Six Cool Kids and CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) You can make your name your own clever one or your own birthright name. (popular names are often taken -and why you may see numbers following the name) @RobJohnson1241
When you see a lot of @Name, @Name, @Name in a row, it’s often a sign of regocnition. Example, if you see:
The above means HEY I LOVE MY DAUGHTERS! It’s my four daughters Twitter names with the #ILY (I Love You)
# = Topic
Social is here to stay. It’s always been with us, we now have more tools to use to stay connected.
April 14 – 17 we celebrate these connections with Kalamazoo Social Media Week. #KzooSMWeek. We’ll highlight amazing marketing talent that exists in our community. @ConsumersCU is proud to sponsor the awards to showcase the industry leaders who exemplify the best practices and strategies that we all strive to attain. From awards to a really cool Social Media Scavenger Hunt and a Small Business Lunch and Learn with @MoJoCMO! Details coming soon – link to the award nominations: http://www.kzoosmweek.com/