Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Recharge you passion - Share it!

Recharge your passion – Share it!

I am a passionate person.  I am passionate about issues, about people in my life, my hobbies and my business.  I love the energy I get from being passionate.  I thrive being around passionate people even when they don’t share my views on issues.  I enjoy the opportunity to listen, learn, revise and defend my beliefs, although my friends would laugh and tell you I am usually more likely to defend than to listen.   I am working on that.  

The day to day structure of life and life’s chores and routine can sometimes sap the passion out of life.  We put our life on auto pilot – go to work, come home from work, meetings, reports, laundry, grocery shopping, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all the other mundane tasks that fill our day. 
Break the cycle.  Reaching out to challenge ourselves can recharge passion.   

I was recently asked to teach four classes in two days on Production and Operations Management at Northern Arizona University College of Business.  I love to teach so I accepted the challenge, although I was not sure if I could fill seventy five minutes with wisdom and stories - especially on Production and Operations Management.   I am fortunate to lead a fascinating business at Stowebridge Promotion Group where we source or produce over a million products - advertising that customers say thank you for, remember, keep and use.

I quickly found that seventy five minutes with a group of business students who truly want to know what it’s really like out there, flies.  Most students have not had the opportunity to experience life in the professional business world that they have selected as their major.   They were anxious to learn anything I could teach them.  I could tell from their questions that they were building connections between my comments and what they had learned in their business classes.  Before and after class I had the opportunity to meet with some fascinating students one on one.  Their excitement, their questions, their outlook on life – refreshes me in ways I never expected.  It reminds me why I got into business in the first place.  

Students in our universities everywhere are hungry for the real world.  Even if you are nervous speaking in front of groups, this is an easy group because they are so eager to hear stories and learn about your experiences.  I am fortunate to be associated with Northern Arizona University William A Franke College of Business where bringing the real world into the classroom is already a priority.  Many of the professors have had full careers in business before transitioning to teaching.  Small class sizes make it easier for the student to interact with the professor as well as any outside speakers.  They involve the alumni in panel discussions, mentoring, shadowing, and a group of students were recently selected to spend time with Warren Buffet – an all expense paid trip for these students.

Not comfortable speaking to large groups?  It does not have to be a classroom presentation or lecture – there is also a real need for mentors for students,
 whether it is a long term commitment or just a short one time session.  Sharing your stories and passion for your business with a group of students who want to soak up your knowledge and experience is invigorating.  Giving back – sharing your story, whether in front of an entire class or just one on one with a student -  recharges passion.  

I was asked if I thought spending two days out of the office was a good use of my time.  ABSOLUTELY!  Spending time teaching and meeting with students before and after classes for a conversation recharges my energy, excites me.   It brings back my passion.  I am a better leader when I return.  I am excited and re-energized again as we serve our customers.  The day to day cobwebs are cleaned out and blown away.  While I was there to help them, I was the real winner of the two days I spent teaching. 


  1. I was in an Operations Management class you spoke to. Thank you for sharing with us about your experiences in the business world. It helps me build a better perspective on what to expect and what I want out of my career.

    1. Thank you for your nice comments - I had a wonderful time meeting and talking with all of you. I have been so business since I returned I just saw this today. But it made me feel great to know that it was helpful for you.

  2. Thank you for taking time out of your busy today to share your knowledge with us students. You gave me a tremendous amount of perspective on what to expect when I enter the business world.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment - I have been so busy I didn't realize there were comments today. I really enjoyed speaking to your class but knowing that it helped someone really makes me feel great!

  3. Patrick, Thank you for your nice comments - I loved doing it. But it means a lot that it was helpful for you too. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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