It’s Thurs. Sept 16th, @ 3am. The alarm went off to awaken me from a 2.5 hr. power nap. This day has been anticipated for 3 months. What you ask? Our Major Leadership Convention in Milwaukee, WI, referred to as simply, “Major.” Quarterly we pack 10,000 (+) leaders in arenas across America & Canada to associate with the top leadership gurus worldwide.
It had been such a push. Just as John Wooden had strategic plays assuring top wins for years, we have such a play. We call Hut 1, Hut 2, Power Player or referred to as H1H2PP! This is the elite measuring line to achieving our goals & accomplishing our dreams. Sparing the details, just know it is statistically proven to work.
There is a war in our nation which affects every area of life as we know it. In case you have your doubts, please don’t take my word for it. Instead read the correlation from Kitty Werthmann during 1938 in Austria. Or better yet, read the 10 Planks of Communist Manifesto. The similarities are frightening. I’m committed to securing freedom on every level, as this affects not only myself, my family, my friends, but generations to come. Many people look at obstacles as road blocks. I choose to look at them as opportunities to learn, grow & change. Here are just a few of the minor obstacles I faced since this past Thurs prior to Major.
As I worked with several of my teammates to secure H1H2PP we faced several “no-shows.” Knowing I belong to the greatest community ever, I never feel sad for me when people are not people of integrity honoring their word of being where they say they are going to be. I am sad for them for missing something that can reshape their lives. Down to the wire, I didn’t win. Or did I? While our measuring stick is H1H2PP, there were many amazing things that happened. My team pushed through their comfort zones to contact, schedule & attempt to share the passion with people. Digging deeper into information, growing, changing & being determined to win are all on the measuring line. Flights, hotel rooms, & finances were restructured in order to be present at Major. If you knew some of the stories, you would know what a sacrifice & commitment they made to be there. While there is not a recognition for these things, I know in my heart what KUDOS they deserve.
So….back to 3am Thursday morning. I had packed the night before (this gets easier as I have certain things that just stay packed at all times!), so I got ready really fast, & pulled my bag off my bed ready to roll. Much to my dismay, I also pulled or a better term is ripped a muscle in my lower back that immediately began to spasm. What do I do? It’s now 4:10a., I have to load up, drive to Dallas, park my car at a remote lot & be at DFW Airport by 5am. After tears & buckling to my knees, I packed my car anyway. The good thing is that I experienced the joy of driving 85-90+ on I-35N with no traffic! I arrive at the remote lot, park & the shuttle driver was at my car immediately to help with luggage. Then….I can’t bear to step up into the shuttle. Deep breathe & just do it! FYI…because I experience motion sickness when I fly, I don’t eat anything prior to a flight, so I can’t take my potion for pulled muscles, Aleve &Valerian. The shuttle driver lets me out in plenty of time to catch my flight….so I thought. I had never flown Air Tran so….this was a first. I get inside, can’t find their check in anywhere. When I asked, the guy tells me to go outside & down 4 gates. Great! Any other time, this is not a problem. Pulling my tote, wearing my backpack, carrying my purse & pillow, while being unable to walk without excruciating pain, is not the time to rush 4 gates down. Anyway….I get to the gate, Air Tran is of course the LAST check in station. While checking my bag the attendant informs me I had just missed the cut off time to check luggage. Really? She offered a flight to ATL instead. Now I don’t pack my bag for carry on. Besides the toiletries we, as females, can’t travel without, were the necessary 1/2 case of EMV’s, our amazing energy drink. I thought….what the heck? I will attempt to board with my bag. So….I drag all of it to security right? Of course I hear the words, “We have to do a bag check!” Every single item she pulls out has to be trashed. “Some people” wouldn’t have had a problem replacing everything. I am not “some people.” I had allocated money to purchase training tools & my seminar ticket for the next Major. I would not compromise this! So….I did the next best thing…..I was escorted back to check in. Now if you could imagine the stares! Pillow, backpack, purse & bag! Real suspicious character right?
I go back to the same wonderful lady & she gets me on the 6:25a. flight to ATL, then standby to MKE, but she “said” she has me on the flight. So….I surrender the non-stop to MKE now being rerouted to ATL. I arrive at ATL by 9:25a. I spoke to the representative about the possibly of a window seat & was informed she would not look at it until 12:30p. I have a great loonnnngggg breakfast, take my pulled muscle potion & look forward to reading. I run into my biz partners from San Antonio & we had a great chat. At 12:30p. I proceed to the desk only to be informed I am 1st. standby. What? I mentioned that the rep from DFW told me I was on the flight. I misunderstood. I was on the 6:25a. flight! I would be told at 1:27pm., not a minute earlier, if I had a seat on the 1:30p. flight. As I sat back down they announced the flight was overbooked & needed 4 vols to opt out for RT vouchers. They would accommodate them on the 1030p. flight to MKE. I go back to the desk to find out where that leaves me! Again…they wouldn’t know until 1:27p. I took a deep breath & immediately began to align my thoughts toward securing a seat, which was my #1 focus. So….I sat & listened. When almost all had boarded, I made a conscious decision to position myself as if I were getting on that flight. I walked to the desk in front of the rep & waited. They continued to call names of passengers not yet checked. Then…..they called the people who had opted out to inform them they didn’t need them to change their flights for 10:30p. I didn’t care. I wasn’t moved. I was getting a seat on that flight. Then….a flight attendant was waiting standby & was allowed to get on the flight. Wait a minute!! If I was 1st. in line…..what was she? I didn’t care. I wasn’t moved. My San Antonio buds were on board watching for any empty seats! Three more people ran up to the desk to check in. I didn’t care. I wasn’t moved. It was 1:27p. I’m standing in front of the lady who checked my flight schedule 3 times & she picks up the mic to announce, “Geneva Murphy, please report to gate C4.” Humor me right? I get on the flight, walk to the back, spot a window seat & the attendant tells me there are no seats. OOPS….she had overlooked one. I sort of notice this guy standing in the back of the plane as if there are no seats left. I get seated, notice a mom with 2 kids then board the plane. Then….the attendent that had allowed me to board came on. Uh Oh! Was she going to tell me to get off? I wasn’t moved. I was on the plane. We closed the door & left. My elephant was charging to MKE!
We arrive in Milwaukee only to find our hotel rooms hot as blazes. WHAT? Some of my partners had already been moved from their previous rooms. We open the windows, go out on the town, honor our tradition of having coffee at Alterra, our fav coffee shop, then to Mo’s Irish Pub, & had cheese curds from Rock Bottom. Fun times with out-of-town groups are the highlight of flying in one night early. We get back to the room to have a group meeting only to find the heat on. We were informed that they had to turn the air back on. My partners were moved the third time & we slept with our windows open. While it was cool outside & I had da-ja-vu from childhood with open windows, it was not enough to chance being smothered!
The next morning when we inquired about the heat being on in our rooms, we were informed that the hotel had a one pipe HVAC system & people complained about being cold so the heat was turned on. I had never heard of a one pipe system & certainly didn’t see on their website that you may have to sleep with windows open. When the manager proved he obviously never read ANY people skills books, I changed reservations to the Hyatt. Now you have to understand I am not being a prima-donna, but wanted to accommodate the others I was rooming with. We loaded up on our way to an elite meeting, I ran in, registered, gave a tip to the bellman to load my luggage in the room & to please adjust the thermostat to 60 degrees. After his eyes bugged out & he questioned me if I was sure….I told him it would be fine. I can’t tell you the difference between the 2 hotels, & this was even without seeing the actual room. Daylight & dark are underrated terms to use. Learning later that some of our partners had their laptop stolen, someone entered their room to smoke illegal drugs, leaving their stash in their room, to the heat/air situation…..I was glad to have switched.
Another obstacle reared it’s ugly head…one tiny problem. On my way from our elite meeting on Fri to the venue arena, I realized I had done something I had never done in all my trips to Majors. My heart plummeted to my little toe. I had left my ticket where I always put it. Yeah…back in Texas. I immediately had to get another one. I would not be discouraged nor dismayed. I knew what I was to gain by being there. Of course it was beyond belief. I get to my room after only to realize my phone charger was left at the previous hotel & when called, they had not had one returned from housekeeping. Yay…..no communication. I would manage, & no….I was not going to by another charger. I had 1 at home, a car charger & 2 USB chargers. Training tools were more important!
Saturday morning we had Grown Up Girlfriend Breakfast with one of our leading ladies. No phone, & my camera batteries died. No biggy…..deep breathe & move on. It was phenomenal to just be around her. We headed to the meeting, I presented my Major tik to the door person at the venue arena only to realize a few minutes later, I had given them my Jan 2011 ticket instead of the current one. Yay….I went to the gate, went to where they were counting event stubs & they were beyond accommodating. When I’m ready to blame it on a “blonde moment” I saw other stubs just like mine so……I was not alone.
Why did I take such pain to describe such petty instances? In my time of being in this profession, I have seen people buckle, change their minds to attend Major & miss associating with the quality of people they could have been around for yet smaller, more minuscule instances. These moments forced me to exercise emotional intelligence, surrender control of things I couldn’t change & deal with the situations at hand, all while portraying a great attitude. While some of them created huge deficits on my single budget, I know it was worth it. Success never goes on sale, you have to pay full price. We all have dreams to fulfill, face struggles & celebrate the victories. It is a choice each time in whether or not we will allow a struggle to paralyze us. This Major focused on relationships & communities. I had the privilege of mentoring with several of my team mates that I would have allowed crazy obstacles to cause me to miss.
The flight home from MKE to DFW proved I did all the right things. I talked to a realtor from D.C. who was extremely interested in the Leadership Development program. He had never heard of many of the books I mentioned. When my meclizine kicked in, I napped with pride knowing we truly are community & our product is people.
Change occurs when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change. I was not allowing tiny hurdles to obstruct my opportunity from gaining priceless nuggets of wisdom. I also have to remember….It doesn’t just affect me, but I lead by example. I am learning never to major on the minors & minimize the drama at all cost.