Greeting you today from Portland, Maine – SCN Encourager 9/20/2013

It’s a bright cool sunny day and it’s good to be alive.

Last night I wasn’t sure I’d be able to say this.

You see, back in July, I scheduled Sept.18-22 as vacation days and made reservations for the annual marketing and online communications “Agents of Change” conference.

I think I should’ve signed up for the “Traditional Guys Who Resist Change” conference in Branson, Missouri, but here I am… eager to take notes and report to you some of my new learning every day next week.

Then you’ll have to figure out how to be an agent of change on your own… while I internally fight and fuss about it.

The theme of the conference is: social – mobile – search

Don’t worry. I’ll find somebody to sit next to in the auditorium who’s under the age of 28 and looks like they know what’s going on. If I’m still good at anything – it’s copying someone else’s work.

So count on good Encouragers in your inbox next week. (Someone else may be making major contributions!)

In fact, (true confession time now) I’ve had a fair amount of practice in the last 24 hours with the whole “search” thing.

Last night my wife Cindy and I arrived at the Portland Airport after a perfect flight. We were excited because we had heard so many wonderful things about Portland.

I was looking forward to attending this “edgy tech” conference in a giddy, naive kind of way… probably like a turkey that’s gleefully strutting about the day before Thanksgiving.

Screen Shot 2013-09-19 at 10.29.26 AMCindy was looking forward to #1 Portland’s Old Port, #2 A ferry to one of the nearby islands, #3 Relaxation, #4 Reading, # 5 Shopping… #14 Being with me.

Anyway, after we landed and grabbed our luggage, we strolled to the curbside area to secure a shuttle or cab.

I saw a big poster that listed all of the big hotels in downtown Portland and noticed that our hotel wasn’t shown on it.

No bigggie, right?  Oversights, omissions, and typos can happen to anyone – and I always promote (particularly to my own superintendent) an on-going spirit of forgiveness in this regard.

Well, after a walk back to the information desk and two calls later, I discovered that I had made hotel reservations for a beautiful inexpensive harbor-front hotel in Portland, Oregon.

You can imagine my next 30-40 minutes or so. I won’t waste your time or upset my stomach again by even attempting to describe it.

Let’s just say I had the opportunity to utilize every crisis management skill I know.

At least when Cindy asked me if the conference was indeed here in Maine, I was able to say “yes.” (What kind of knucklehead did she think I was?)

Eventually after a convoluted mixture of inner panic, prayer, and begging, I located the very last room available in Old Port Portland (MAINE) and all is good.

So I am writing to you right now on this Thursday morning from a Starbucks right by our hotel.

There were other cafes around that looked more interesting to me – and I don’t drink coffee at all – but Cindy made this choice, and I’ve accepted the fact that I lost all of my negotiating privileges for the duration of this trip back at the airport.

As both of us sit here in Starbucks, she asked me what I was going to write about in today’s Encourager.

I told her that I’d been saving one of the best essays I’ve ever read to share today. I wanted something easy to link up since I knew I’d be away from home.

This essay by James Petersen is incredible. It won an award in 2012 and is titled “Always Carry Toothpaste.” It is a powerful leadership story.

The essay includes 14 short unique tips and the unique true-story twist on “Always Carry Toothpaste” at the end is one you’ll remember for awhile.

Find the time to read it.

It wasn’t easy for me to find an online version… so this is why the link takes you to the East Alton, Illinois, Rotary Club website. (No, I didn’t blow it again!) 

After a sip of her coffee, Cindy asked if the essay was about travel.

‘Yeah, it is,” I responded. “Isn’t that ironic?”

“Oh…” she said. “I’ve got another word for it! Give me that laptop.”

Oops! Gotta go.

Tom Page, SCN
carFRI 092013






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