Scaling Forward

I’m a Libra. Some of you may have already guessed as much. One of our best qualities is indecision. Our symbol is the scales because we try to be fair and just.

I was happy to share indecision Thursday with my colleagues at the Pfister as we looked at the six finalists for the Narrator position to begin in May.

Choosing your replacement is a difficult task. Many of us would choose…well, medicine us.

But I’ve heard, and believe it’s true, that “if you’re not replaceable, you’re not promotable.” But of course, this is where our debate formed. Who is promotable? All of the candidates were writers, storytellers and engaging people, illness in a word, all could narrate. Who should get promoted to Narrator, however, was the big question.

There were so many amazing things to see and read. I loved the videos of the candidates, not just for their film quality (thanks April and Pete; and by the way candidates, they made you look fantastic) but because for weeks, we’ve only known these people on paper. We’ve conjured images of them in the lobby, we’ve envisioned them drinking one of Val’s bloody Marys, retelling (or trying to) her amazing recipe. We’ve seen them on the threshold of a summer wedding gala, documenting it all.

But we never saw them in person. Here they were, up close, chattering, nervous, excited and to their credit…bursting with ideas. That alone became a fantastic qualifier for each of them. Do we choose based on who is bringing profile-writing experience, literary experience or pure unadulterated energy to the position? Or should we evaluate based on how they talked about the hotel? Do they like the art, the history, the beauty or the things it houses?

I think the committee members should each be responsible for a blog too, or we should have been filmed (I’m cringing as I say this… unsure if I’ll keep my new friends when this gets published). Facial reactions, oohs and ahhs, “great idea” “I didn’t think of that” “oh, I like her” and more resonated from our select corner of the newly remodeled café where Starbucks flowed among us but the really energy came from drinking in the vibrant options before us.

We just couldn’t choose.

That’s a compliment, candidates.

For me, listening to their plans and ideas was rejuvenating and hard—there’s so much left to tell and my time is growing short. That’s the beauty of it though, there’s no shortage of stories. The Pfister provides: in every guest a novel, in every event a sense of scene.

We did choose. We chose well; and we considered the charming smile, the great colors, the wonderfully themed sample piece, the pictures, the youth, the wisdom, the experience, the salesmanship, the recommendations, the effervescence, the technology, the reading list, the Pfister favorites, the drive, the energy…the embodiment of a Narrator.

This Libra is proud to say her scales of indecision, out of balance all afternoon, finally teetered into agreement. Soon, you too will meet our Narrator and see just how decisively she will compliment the hotel and document its story.

Happy Hour as a Career High

Friday night happy hour is only an event because you were supposedly unhappy in the preceding hours at your work. Organizational theorists, business consulting gurus and all the Seth Godin’s of the world could supplement their next best seller with a happy hour at the Pfister.

Tonight’s crowd ran the gamut in examples of the intersection of work and life. John and Kathy (who you’ll meet again in another post) made a life together around job relocation. After I asked, “So you moved seven times for work?” Kathy eagerly reminded me, “Oh, no, honey, eight times!”

John and I wax philosophical on an issue I’ve been thinking about for some time. Contemporary workplaces no longer keep you for 35 years. John got lucky and built an entire career within one organization. Moving up through the ranks, moving with the company and seeing the country (Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York), John and his family proudly traveled for their kin—the company.

Now, John agrees, workplaces and the new generation of workers have to revision what it means to be loyal.

Just as John and Kathy head off to continue their anniversary celebration (45 years!), Dave and Julie take their seats and are the living, breathing example of just what John and I had been discussing. Both lawyers by trade, together they’ve moved from Seattle to Denver to Milwaukee with their careers, but not their company. And though regulars at the Pfister, they were in tonight to court an interviewee on her quest to be a part of a Milwaukee-based company. Potentially hiring in from Denver, their guest had already finished the stress of the day’s interview with Dave, but because she was spending the night in town, the pair offered to keep her company with a drink…at the Pfister.

It’s true so much of our life is our work life. John and Kathy now travel to visit work friends—not for work. Dave and Julie continue to remake their life based on where they work and between them, now, is this potentially new Milwaukee resident experiencing the Pfister for the first time because of work she hopes to get.

It’s inspiring to be around folks at mid-career, at retirement or as they shape their career…and to get all this coaching and career advice while hearing holiday tunes on the piano and the rumble of giggles and small talk as office work parties commence in the lobby and the Rouge Room.

Career coaching is available to you while you sit in the Pfister lobby, but the most important thing you’ll learn is that that our happiest hours may very well be because of our work and we should find the ways we can make our work work for our life.