Attached, please find the deck for next week. I will be out of the country but will have cellular coverage and Wi-Fi access. The deck is on my laptop and will have a hard copy just in case the network is slow, so I may need you to drive the presentation as far as moving the slides, just in case.
As I’ve related before, I’ve got a tendency to read important emails by quickly scanning them for dealbreakers — those things that cannot be overcome and result in major problems. After reading Cletis’s email above, I was relieved. The “out of the country” part gave me some pause because I always worry about phone and Internet connectivity, but it sounded like Cletis had done his homework on the WIFI part. I sent him a Webex number to test when he landed (which he did) and so all seemed good to go.
Of course, I was curious. It’s not often that one of our Webinar speakers winds up delivering their presentation from overseas. I had to ask.
“Can I ask where you’ll be calling from?” I wrote.
“I will be in Zihuatanejo, Mexico,” he replied.
Now I knew where he would be, but I still didn’t know why. The inquiring mind in me wanted to know. So when we go on the line 15 minutes early for our Webinar last week (which went tremendously well), I had to ask.
“Hey Cletis, thanks for doing this. What has you down in Mexico?” I asked.
“Well, let me just say this is why I now have an admin,” he said laughing. “As we speak my wife and four kids are down at the beach. I’m got a beautiful view from my room here where I’ll be doing the presentation. I can’t believe I scheduled both these things at the same time.”
“Well,” I said. “I’m sorry you have to do this during your vacation, but I sure am glad you didn’t cancel on us.”
“No, no,” he said, dismissing the thought. “It’s not a problem. I’ll get down there five minutes after we finish.”
Now, to say I was impressed was an understatement. I’ve been booking high level folks for one type of appointment or another — from interviews to webinar presentations — for close to 15 years now. For the most part, those folks have kept their commitments, but once in a while, someone flakes. They take their “oops” moment and put it on me by cancelling or rescheduling. Usually it’s not the end of the world, even though sometimes it feels like it.
But I’m from the school (as least I hope I am) that says when I make a mistake, it’s on ME. I’m the one that’s got to live up to my commitment one way or the other. I try to instill this in my children. I’m sure just every parent has had the experience of getting a child ready for a practice or game only to be confronted with, “I don’t feel like it,” or, “I’m too tired.” I, for one, have no patience for such nonsense.
“When you joined the team, you made a commitment,” I say. “Unless you have a fever or throw up, you’ve got to go. Now let’s move.”
Can you imagine what an amazing lesson Cletis’ children received on that day — more than words ever could? Though they were probably frustrated with dad for working on vacation, I’m sure he explained the situation along these lines.
“Hey, I messed up on my schedule. I’m sorry but I’ve got to do this thing and I’ll be right down to the beach after.”
So Cletis accomplished a lot that morning — coming through for us, sharing great information with the industry, and letting his kids know that your word is everything. When you weigh it out, that’s not a bad trade for one hour of vacation time.